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Japan, China agree to ensure peace and stability on Korean Peninsula

December 26, 2011 - Tokyo

Taking a step forward to maintain regional security after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il death, Japan and China have agreed to work together to ensure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

During an 85-minute meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda also called for Beijing's cooperation in resolving the abduction issue with Pyongyang.

North Korea, which has no diplomatic ties with Tokyo, said the issue has been settled and that any other Japanese citizens abducted by its agents in the past are long dead.

"Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is a common interest for both Japan and China," Noda told Wen at the outset of their meeting, expressing a willingness to frankly exchange views with the Chinese leader on abduction, nuclear and missile issues related to North Korea.

It is the first summit Japan has held with a member of the six-party talks on denuclearizing North Korea since Kim's death was announced, The Japan Times reports.

Wen also agreed to lend a giant panda to a zoo in Sendai to raise morale in disaster-hit Miyagi Prefecture.

Since bilateral ties have been souring over maritime issues in the East China Sea for over a year, Noda and Wen agreed on setting up a new mechanism to discuss maritime security.

Noda and Wen also agreed to work on strengthening a strategic relationship of mutual benefit.

The summit comes at a time of rocky relations due in part to a maritime spat over collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard ships last year near the Japan-held Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Noda is scheduled to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday.


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