Japanese lawmakers hold talks with China's No 3 leader

Japanese lawmakers hold talks with China's No 3 leader
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting on the side lines of the Asian-African Conference in Jakarta.

BEIJING (Kyodo) - A cross-party group of Japanese lawmakers held talks Tuesday with Zhang Dejiang, ranked third in China's Communist Party, amid increasing signs of a thaw in frosty bilateral relations.

The group's three-day visit to Beijing from Monday comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the second time in five months on April 22 and agreed to advance a range of exchanges to enhance mutual trust, despite outstanding disagreements over territory and wartime history.

The 11-member delegation is led by Masahiko Komura, vice president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Among other issues, a statement Abe, the LDP's head, is due to issue this summer marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II was expected to top the agenda for the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians' Union's meeting with Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

China believes Japan has not done enough to atone for its atrocities before and during the war, calling on Abe many times to include a full apology in the forthcoming statement.

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