China and Japan have the opportunity to "take charge of the economic field" during a time of worldwide uncertainty, Japan's foreign minister said Sunday, as trade pressures from the United States have prompted both countries to seek alternative markets.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing to discuss youth exchanges and economic relations between the two countries, whose ties "completely recovered" last year, according to Kono.
The relationship was turbulent in previous years due to an unresolved dispute over islands in the East China Sea. High-level exchanges were frozen in 2012 after Japan nationalized the small group of remote islands claimed by Beijing. The act set off violent protests in China and sent Japanese investment and tourism into a nose dive.
Trade and investment have since rebounded, and companies from the two nations are considering joint projects in third countries such as Thailand.
While "the current economic situation is complicated and profoundly changing," Wang said, "Sino-Japanese economic cooperation is constantly advancing at a solid pace."
Six ministers from each country met for nearly four hours in a bid to find ways to create a more favorable environment for companies doing business in each other's country amid worries about an economic slowdown, Kyodo News reported. China encouraged Japan to invest in infrastructure projects under its "One Belt, One Road" development initiative stretching across Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The two countries also agreed to work toward lifting of a ban on Japanese beef imports by Beijing.
Also, two issues at the center of China-U.S. trade frictions — forced technology transfer and intellectual property — were raised by the Japanese delegation Sunday, said Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Takeshi Osuga.
Osuga told reporters at an evening news briefing that the Chinese side noted that Chinese tech giant Huawei's activities in Japan have been affected by certain policies. To this, Kono responded that Japan has never taken any measure with the objective of excluding any company or product, Osuga said.
Several countries have expressed concerns over Huawei, which the U.S. has accused of being controlled by China's ruling Communist Party and thus obliged to spy on its behalf. Huawei maintains that it would say no to requests from the Chinese government for confidential information about foreign users of its technology. Japan'Read More