Los Angeles 10/11/2010 4:45:21 PM
News / Politics

China- Japan Meeting "Positive"

The defense ministers of China and Japan "held a conversation" for the first time after last month's political row over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain by Japan, Chinese government run Xinhua news agency says.

The two chiefs met on the sidelines of a meeting of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in Vietnam on Monday, as the two countries try to fix strained political ties.

According to Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie, the meeting with Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa would be "positive" for bilateral ties between Beijing and Tokyo. "The talks were very good," Guanglie said. Responding to a question about the likely impact of this meeting with Kitazawa on strained ties, he said, "Of course it will be positive".

China had suspended high-level talks with Japan last month after Japanese authorities took a Chinese captain into custody for allegedly ramming his boat into Japanese patrol vessels in disputed waters.

The incident sparked the worst row between two Asian giants in years and jeopardized recent attempts to mend ties marked by years of distrust that stemmed from Japan's invasion of China in 1930s.

The Chinese boat captain was freed on 25th September and returned to Beijing after two weeks in detention.

With strained ties affecting their trade relations, the two sides are attempting to bridge the gap. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan had a brief meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Brussels last week during the Asia-Europe summit.