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'Japan, China defence chiefs to meet Monday'

world Updated: Oct 10, 2010 10:17 IST

Reuters
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Japanese Defence Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie will hold a meeting in Hanoi on Monday, Kyodo news agency said, the latest sign of a thaw in the two nations' strained ties.

Kitazawa and Liang will hold talks on the sidelines of a regional gathering of defence ministers in the Vietnamese capital, Kyodo said on Sunday, quoting sources familiar with bilateral relations.

It will be the first ministerial level meeting to be held after China suspended high-level exchanges with Japan in response to the detention of the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that collided with Japan Coast Guard ships off disputed islands, Kyodo said.

China and Japan, Asia's two largest economies, have acted to ease tension following the stand-off over the uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

"Looking in the mid- to long-term, China suffered considerable damage (from the dispute)," Katsuya Okada, Secretary General of the ruling Democratic Party, said on NHK public TV on Sunday.

"They showed the world that they have a different political system,"
But Okada, a former foreign minister, also said it was a mistake to look at diplomacy in terms of "win-loss".

"It is at just such a time that we should debate calmly and mutually avoid stimulating public emotions."

On Saturday, China freed on bail the remaining Japanese employee of a construction firm who had been held on suspicion of illegally entering a military zone, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

The Fujita employee, Sadamu Takahashi, left Shanghai on a plane bound for Tokyo on Sunday, Kyodo said.

Kyodo quoted him as telling reporters at the airport in Shanghai that he did not know why he was detained longer than the other three Fujita employees released on September 30.