The Chinese government said Thursday that Foreign Minister Wang Yi has told a Japanese senior diplomat that the two countries should "make appropriate preparations" for President Xi Jinping's planned state visit to Japan in the spring.
During their talks in China on Wednesday, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba told Wang that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government will also "make every effort to ensure a successful visit of Xi," according to a website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The two diplomats met amid growing expectations that Beijing and Tokyo will craft a new political document that will lay the foundation for their future relations -- the fifth of its kind since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1972.
The new document is expected to be unveiled when Xi visits Japan sometime in the spring as a state guest for the first time since he came to power in 2013, sources close to the matter said.
Japan and China have developed their relations on the basis of the principles of the existing four political documents, respectively signed in 1972, 1978, 1998 and 2008. The latest one dating from 2008 stipulates that the two nations should advance strategic and mutually beneficial ties.
On Tuesday, Akiba held talks with his counterpart Le Yucheng in the Chinese city of Xi'an. They agreed to create an environment to make Xi's state visit "significant," according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
In Japan, however, some conservative lawmakers in Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party have suggested that Xi's trip be canceled, citing outstanding issues such as the human rights situation in Hong Kong and the far-western Xinjiang region.