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Abe, Xi to hold summit meeting today

Pool photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at Kansai International Airport in Osaka on Thursday.

The Yomiuri ShimbunPrime Minister Shinzo Abe and China’s President Xi Jinping are expected to state their intention to build a new relationship between Japan and China both at home and abroad during their bilateral summit talks Thursday afternoon.

Xi’s visit to Japan is the first since he took office as president in 2013. In light of the talks, the two are expected to announce that their nations will accelerate efforts to improve bilateral relations that meet the needs of a new era.

Xi arrived at Kansai International Airport in Osaka on Thursday. A visit by Xi to Japan had not been realized before now, due partly to issues over the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

It will be the first time for a Chinese head of state to visit Japan in nine years since 2010 — when then Chinese President Hu Jintao came to Japan.

At the meeting, Abe is expected to ask Xi to visit Japan again as a state guest next year or later.

The two leaders are expected to agree to expand bilateral cooperation in economic and other fields, following the agreement reached during Abe’s visit to Beijing in October last year, in which they confirmed that the bilateral relations have been put back on a normal track.

The two sides will also discuss situations related to North Korea in the light of Xi’s visit to Pyongyang on June 20 and 21.

After about a one-hour meeting with Xi, Abe will hold a dinner to entertain the Chinese president.

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