Beijing, Apr 13: Ahead of a possible visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrived here on Saturday to have talks with China, in which protection of intellectual property rights and free trade are expected to dominate the agenda.
During the three-day trip, Kono is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and State Councillor Wang Yi, also the country's foreign minister, who will co-chair the economic dialogue between Asia's two biggest economies.
Beside Kono, the ministerial delegation includes Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, Farm Minister Takamori Yoshikawa, Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii, Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada, and Regulatory Reform minister Satsuki Katayama.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said officials from the two countries will also discuss macroeconomic policy, bilateral economic and trade relations, third-party market cooperation and innovation cooperation during the dialogue.
Japan and China have held economic dialogue on and off since 2007, this being the fifth round. There was an eight-year hiatus between the third and fourth meetings as relations sunk to a decades low due to a dispute over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands.
Japan placed the islets, in the East China Sea, under state control in 2012, drawing the ire of China which claims sovereignty over them and calls them Diaoyu.
Japan plans to urge China to strengthen its protection of intellectual property rights, and to crack down on forced technology transfer, according to Kyodo news agency.
It is also expected to ask China to lift restrictions on the import of Japanese food, introduced in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster due to concerns of radioactive contamination.
China may ask Japan to invest in infrastructure projects under its "One Belt, One Road" initiative, as well as to reconsider its decision to exclude telecommunications equipment giants Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. from government procurement contracts, amid concern over security breaches, Kyodo quoted Japanese officials as saying. (UNI)