Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi (Photo: Kyodo/VNA)

"I hope this will be an important step toward returning China - Japan relations to a normal track," Mr. Wang told reporters after arriving in Japan ahead of his meeting and working dinner with Mr. Kono.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi is the first Chinese Foreign Minister to visit Japan in a bilateral context in nine years. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping last year promised to reset the sometimes fraught relations between Asia’s two largest economies.

The talks between the two diplomats came ahead of a summit between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (RoK) this month and a meeting between DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

President Kim Jong-un is scheduled to meet with the RoK President Moon Jae-in on April 27th, the first meeting between the leaders in a decade.

Mr Trump also said he would meet the DPRK’s leader in May or early June, where he hopes to reach an agreement on denuclearization with the Pyongyang regime.

As scheduled, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is set to visit Japan next month for a trilateral summit with Abe and RoK’s President Moon Jae-in. According to Japanese officials, specific dates for these visits are yet to be decided.

Noting that this year marks 40 years since the signing of a bilateral peace and friendship treaty, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said he and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agreed to work for the improvement of bilateral relations across the board./.

Compiled by BTA