China's Xi vows to boost strategic ties with Japan
Sunday 13th December, 06:10 AM JST
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Saturday voiced his eagerness to strengthen strategic and mutually beneficial ties with Japan, saying bilateral relations now ‘‘maintain a good momentum for development.’’ In an interview ahead of a three-day visit to Japan beginning Monday, Xi hailed Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s proposal to create an ‘‘East Asia community,’’ saying the concept ‘‘reflects the importance the Hatoyama government places on East Asian cooperation.’‘
The 56-year-old Xi, who is seen as the front-runner to succeed President Hu Jintao, said China plans to deal with a bilateral dispute over gas field development in the East China Sea based on a joint development agreement the two governments struck last year. During his first visit to Japan since assuming his current post in March 2008, Xi is scheduled to meet in Tokyo with Emperor Akihito, Hatoyama, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, and leaders of ruling and opposition parties as well as business leaders, according to Japanese officials. Xi is also scheduled to visit Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan.