Four years after they went into a nose dive, tense relations between China and Japan may finally be headed for a return to some semblance of normalcy.
Those hopes rest largely on a meeting Monday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with Xi telling Abe that it was time to "put aside disruptions" and bring ties "back on the normal track," according to China's official Xinhua News Agency. By all accounts, Abe responded positively at their closed-door session, held on the sidelines of the summit of Group of 20 industrialized nations in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
Following up, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida welcomed an agreement made at the meeting to speed up talks on an early implementation of a sea and air communication system aimed at avoiding mishaps. The two countries have also agreed to hold preparatory talks next week in Hiroshima on resuming discussions on the joint development of gas deposits beneath the East China Sea.