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Japan FM to discuss economic crisis, NKorea in China

world Updated: Feb 28, 2009 16:03 IST

AFP
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Japan's foreign minister was due in China on Saturday for a visit that will see the two sides discuss the economic crisis and North Korea, amid a flare-up in tensions over a territorial dispute.

Hirofumi Nakasone will raise the issues with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi shortly after his arrival in Beijing, a Japanese foreign ministry official said in Tokyo.

"The two ministers are to explain how to cope with the crisis in each country," said the official, who declined to be named.

"During discussions on the region, the North Korean issue will (also) be on the agenda."

The world's second and third biggest economies are grappling with the global slowdown, with Japan posting a record fall in industrial output in January and China recently announcing that millions of rural migrants are out of work.

On the diplomatic front, Japan and China are both part of a six-nation forum aimed at convincing North Korea to give up its nuclear programmes, but negotiations have repeatedly stalled.

Pyongyang has stated its intentions to soon test a satellite, which Japan and the US believe could actually be a long-range missile with the potential to hit Alaska.

China, one of North Korea's closest allies and the host of the six-party talks, has made little comment on the subject, which has dominated regional security concerns in recent weeks.