Abe vows to bolster ties with China day before Beijing trip

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to bolster cooperation and friendship between his country and China in a key policy speech the day before he makes the first trip to Beijing by a Japanese leader in seven years.

Abe said Japan and China are both responsible for the region’s peace and prosperity, which he hoped to achieve by boosting exchanges in all areas, from business to sports and politics. Abe will hold talks with Chinese leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang during his three-day visit.

In his speech opening a new parliamentary session Wednesday, Abe also pledged to accept more foreign workers to tackle a severe labor shortage.

Abe was re-elected last month to head his governing party and seeks to serve Japan’s leader for three more years.

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