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Politics

Abe surrogates head to China to get diplomacy rolling

Senior ruling party lawmaker aims to deliver letter from prime minister to Xi

TOKYO -- A top aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a senior Japanese lawmaker are headed to Beijing for an economic conference, seeking to meet with high-ranking Chinese officials to pave the way for improved bilateral relations.

Takaya Imai, Abe's executive secretary, will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Sunday and Monday after arriving in China on Saturday. The conference promotes Beijing's effort to create a broad sphere of economic influence in Asia, a pet project of President Xi Jinping.

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