China, Japan seek to mend ties as Trump trade war looms

Eels are widely consumed across Japan

China demonstrated its significant influence over its reclusive ally when Xi hosted the North's leader Kim Jong-un and his wife in Beijing last month.

China and Japan made efforts to move their bilateral relationship forward on Sunday, when the countries' foreign ministers met in Tokyo, in itself a major development ahead of the trilateral summit with South Korea to be held in May.

Abe has said he will also request Trump to seek the elimination of not only North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the US mainland, but its short- and medium-range missiles that could threaten Japan and South Korea.

Last year, residents of Hokkaido were twice warned to seek shelter after North Korea test-fired two missiles that flew over the northern Japanese island, albeit at very high altitudes. If Abe's forced to step down, fears that Japan is being passed over by the US would only grow.

Today he will return to Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort for two days of meetings on and off the golf...

Japan and China resumed their economic dialogue after almost eight years in which they were frozen.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, unveiled in 2013, aims at building a modern-day Silk Road connecting China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

There is alarm in Tokyo that the cold war abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korean spies could be forgotten in the push for a nuclear settlement.

During his sixth face-to-face talks with Trump, Abe is also expected to seek to win an exemption from steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports Washington recently invoked.

"The midterm elections are foremost in Trump's mind", Katsuyuki Kawai, who advises Abe on foreign affairs, told Reuters.



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