World / Asia-Pacific

China, Japan hold first ministerial talks since 2012

By Li Jiabao (China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-19 08:29

Trade ministers from China and Japan met on Saturday on the sidelines of the APEC ministers' meeting, in the first ministerial-level talks since the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands began in 2012.

Toshimitsu Motegi, minister of economy, trade and industry of Japan, said that the 20-minute meeting with Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng during a coffee break "was not on the schedule and proposed by China, but went on in a very good atmosphere.

"We agreed that Asia's top two economies should focus on overall strategic ties with mutual benefit perspectives and continue to advance economic cooperation, despite the challenging bilateral ties. We agreed on cooperation in energy saving, environment protection, logistics and so on," he said.

A Commerce Ministry statement released on Saturday night said Japan's actions regarding the Diaoyu Islands hurt bilateral relations and resulted in "lost opportunities for cooperation" and damaged "the normal development of Sino-Japanese economic and trade relations".

The statement said China hopes the difficulties can be properly handled, "creating favorable conditions for the resumption of Sino-Japanese economic and trade relations".

Gao said he also expects Japan "to take effective measures to protect the rights of Chinese enterprises in Japan".

Most Popular
Hot Topics