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International relations

Japan, China agree to hold talks 'at all levels' to improve ties

Beijing's new foreign minister, Qin Gang, speaks with Tokyo counterpart for 1st time

Qin said he hopes that the Japanese side will be "cautious" in its words and deeds regarding major issues such as bilateral history and Taiwan.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The foreign ministers of Japan and China agreed Thursday that the two nations will maintain close communication "at all levels," the Japanese government said, as they have been exploring how to mend bilateral ties that often become tense.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also aired "serious concern" over intensifying Chinese military activities near Japan, including those with Russia, during 50-minute phone talks with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, adding that Japanese public opinion on Beijing is "extremely severe," according to the Foreign Ministry.

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