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Japan, China agree to regular summits

world Updated: May 07, 2008 09:02 IST

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The leaders of China and Japan agreed in a joint statement on Wednesday to hold annual summits to improve relations after a long freeze caused by friction over wartime history.

"The two nations agreed that Japan and China both share larger responsibilities for the world's peace and development in the 21st century," said the statement signed by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

"Leaders of the two states will develop ways for regular exchanges, with one leader visiting the other in principle every year," it said.

China refused all high-level contact with Japan for five years until 2006 in anger at then prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to a Tokyo shrine that venerates Japanese war dead including war criminals.