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China, Japan to Hold First Finance Minister Talks in 3 Years

Finance Ministers of China and Japan will sit together in Beijing on June 6 in the first such one-on-one meeting in three years, Japan’s Finance Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Japan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama, center, talks with South Korea's Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Lee Kyung-Soo, left, and China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin, right. - Sputnik International
South Korea, Japan, China Hope to Break the Ice at First Meeting in 3 Years
During their meeting, described in the statement as the “fifth financial dialogue”, Taro Aso and Lou Jiwei are expected to discuss the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and a raft of other hot-button issues.

The two last met in Tokyo in April 2012.

Relations between the two countries soured in September 2012 when the Japanese government bought a group of islands in the East China Sea that both sides claim in a growing dispute that threatened to deepen strains between Asia's two biggest economies.

Tokyo insisted it had only peaceful intentions in making the $26.18 million purchase of the three uninhabited islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, until then leased by the government from a Japanese family that had owned them since the early 1970s.

China denounced the plan as illegal and warned it would affect ties.

The islands, which lie south of Okinawa and north of Taiwan, sit in key shipping lanes and are thought to lie close to natural gas deposits.

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