Officials from Japan and China will meet in Tokyo later this week for talks primarily on trade, but will also touch upon a broad range of bilateral and regional issues, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The talks, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, come amid much acrimony over Japan's perceived failure to show remorse for its wartime aggression, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's war shrine visits and rights to undersea resources in disputed waters.
While regional and other bilateral issues will be raised, the focus of the talks will be on trade and investment between the two countries, including China's production of pirated video games and films and other intellectual property issues, said ministry official Shuji Noguchi.
China surpassed the United States last year to become Japan's largest trade partner, underscoring the importance of smooth relations between Asia's two biggest economies.
Despite growing trade between the two countries, diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Beijing have sunk to their lowest in decades amid a series of territorial disputes and disagreements over interpretations of wartime history.
Koizumi's latest visit in October to Yasukuni shrine, which honors Japanese war dead including convicted war criminals, has angered China and South Korea. Seoul responded by rejecting Tokyo's call for a summit.
The upcoming meetings between China and Japan are the fourth round of talks on their economic partnership since October, 2003, reports the AP. I.L.