July 5, 2018 – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit China, possibly in October, to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese government sources said last night, amid efforts to improve bilateral ties.
Japan has conveyed to China via diplomatic channels that should Abe be re-elected in his ruling party’s leadership race in September, he hopes to make the trip as soon as possible afterwards, the sources said.
The last time a Japanese prime minister made an official visit to China, excluding attendance at an international conference, was in December 2011 by then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
China has sounded out Japan and South Korea about holding a trilateral summit in December in Beijing, and indicated it would receive Abe for an official visit to China around the time of the envisaged trilateral summit, diplomatic sources said earlier.
When Abe met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang bilaterally in Tokyo, on the sidelines of a trilateral summit with South Korea, the Japanese leader expressed a desire to visit China by the end of this year.