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Abe takes a shine to China's Belt and Road plan

Japanese leader's pivot signals a desire for better bilateral ties

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered conditional support for China's Belt and Road Initiative at a dinner reception during The Future of Asia conference in Tokyo on June 5. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government "is ready to extend cooperation" for China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative under the right conditions, sending another signal that Tokyo wants to mend fences with Beijing ahead of a possible bilateral summit next month.

Also known as the "One Belt, One Road" program, Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature initiative is designed to expand the country's economic sphere by linking it with the rest of Asia and Europe through infrastructure like roads and railways. While Abe expressed a willingness to get involved, he stressed the projects should adhere to international norms.

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