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Thursday, March 5, 2015, 18:50

China, Japan to hold first security talks in 4 years

By Reuters

Japan, TOKYO - Chinese and Japanese officials will hold their first security talks in four years in Tokyo later this month, Japan's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of a possible improvement in ties strained by a territorial dispute.

Relations between the world's second- and third-largest economies have been damaged after Tokyo's illegal "nationalization" of China's Diaoyu Islands in 2012 and the legacy of Japan's wartime occupation of its larger Asian neighbor.

The security meeting, to be held on March 19, will involve top officials from the two countries' foreign and defense ministries, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The last such meeting was in January 2011 in Beijing.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the first time in November, on the sidelines of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, in a step forward towards repairing their ties.

The same month, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, agreed to resume the security talks that began in 1993.

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