Japan and China will arrange a summit to ameliorate relations during the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, forum in Beijing in November, the Nikkei Business Daily reports. The announcement on Monday is reportedly the result of a visit to Beijing on July 27 by former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, aimed at initiating peace talks between the two Asian powers.
Territorial disputes; a 2013 visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Tokyo’s contentious Yasukuni Shrine, which in part honors war criminals; and the establishment by China of an air-defense zone in the East China Sea have all contributed to worsening relations between Beijing and Tokyo in recent years.
Chinese President Xi Jinping previously refused to have a summit until Abe relinquished control over the disputed Diaoyu islands (called Senkaku in Japan) and apologized for his visit to Yasukuni, Reuters reports. Abe has not met with Chinese leaders since he took office in 2012.
“Japan’s unilateral measure is illegal and invalid and cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are part of China’s territory,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said, according to Xinhua.