Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay an official visit to China from October 25 to 27 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced on Friday.
It will be the first official visit to China by a Japanese prime minister since December 2011. Abe's visit comes five months after Li's tour in Japan – the first official visit to Japan by a Chinese premier in eight years.
The resumption of high-level visits is part of the increasing rapprochement between China and Japan after years of ups and downs. Politicians from both sides have repeatedly expressed the willingness to improve ties.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L, front) holds a welcome ceremony for visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R, front) in Tokyo, Japan, May 9, 2018. /Xinhua Photo
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship and on August 12, Li and Abe exchanged congratulatory messages in honor of the anniversary.
The Chinese premier said Beijing is willing to join hands with Tokyo to work for the healthy and stable development of long-term bilateral ties. Abe called on the two countries to continue to deepen cooperation and contribute to the settling of the problems facing the international community.
A month later, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Abe met on the sidelines of the fourth Eastern Economic Forum in Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok. The two leaders exchanged views on ways to further improve bilateral ties and shoulder joint responsibility in the promotion of global and regional peace and stability, as well as development and prosperity.
Both the Chinese premier and the Japanese prime minister are scheduled to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Brussels next week.
Abe was recently re-elected as head of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, paving way for up to three more years as the country's prime minister.