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China, Japan to Resume East China Sea Talks
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China and Japan agreed to hold their fifth round of talks on the East China Sea issues in May, a press release from China's Foreign Ministry said in Beijing Tuesday.


The agreement was reached at the three-day fifth round of China-Japan strategic dialogue which ended Tuesday in China.


Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi headed the two delegations to attend the meeting.


Since October 2004, China and Japan have convened four rounds of consultations on the East China Sea issues. Last round of talks was held in Beijing in March this year.


The press release said the two vice foreign ministers also discussed the possibility of setting up a meeting between their foreign ministers in the near future at multi-lateral occasions, according to the press release.


It said Dai also reiterated Chinese President Hu Jintao's remarks on China-Japan relations made in a meeting with the heads of seven Japan-China friendship organizations on March 31, saying that China hopes the two countries should join efforts to remove the political obstacles out of the way of improving and developing bilateral ties.


Dai especially pointed out that Japan should take corresponding measures to work with China to reach the common goal, according to the press release.


China has made it clear that the major obstacle in China-Japan relations is Japanese leaders' insistence on visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead as well as 14 Class A criminals of the World War II.


China and Japan held the previous four rounds of strategic dialogues respectively in May, June, and October of last year and February this year.


(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2006)

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