China’s leader visits Japan

Chinese President Hu Jintao has begun a five-day state visit to Japan, the first such trip in a decade.

He is expected to discuss trade, security and a dispute over undersea gas fields with Japanese PM Yasuo Fukuda – and play him at ping-pong. Mr. Hu said before he left Beijing on Monday he hoped the visit would herald an “everlasting warm spring of friendship” between the two neighbors. Correspondents say there has been a deep chill during the past few years.

China suspended high-level contact with Japan from 2001 to 2006 during the premiership of Junichiro Koizumi, after he made repeated visits to the Yasukuni war shrine; a place most Chinese believe glorifies militarism. Mr. Fukuda has tried to repair the damage by promising not to visit the shrine while he is in power and by calling for Japan to be humble about its past.

In the temple of the Olympics the Chinese are willing to do anything, even meet with the Japanese!

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