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>> Japan's leader Shinzo Abe made a rare visit to China this week, aiming to break through decades of distrust. The two sides haven't held official talks for seven years after a dispute over Islands in the East China Sea. Now though, they're pledging closer ties and Abe says relations are at an historic turning point.
It's good for Tokyo. Beijing is vital for Japan's economy and Abe is taking home a broad range of deals. But there's a third big player overshadowing this meeting. Japan's biggest security partner, the United States, which is now locked in a trade war with Beijing. And as Reuters Linda Sieg explains, it's got Tokyo on a tight rope.
>> Probably has to walk a rather fine line to balance his improvement and ties with China while not irritating President Trump. Both countries, China and Japan, have their own trade disputes with the United States. China is obviously much more serious, the rhetoric and the tariff, the mutual tariff imposition on both countries.
So China is feeling the pinch from its trade war with the United States and is reaching out to Japan and other countries because of that. For Japan, it's potentially more complicated in that, while it wants better ties, both economic and political, diplomatic with China, its main security ally remains the United States.
>> Some of Japan's biggest companies like Toyota, have long been keen for better ties. That would make it easier to operate and drive sales in the world's biggest auto market. Abe also says he wants both countries to work together on dealing with North Korea. China in turn wants Tokyo's support for its ambitious built and road initiative.
It's a plan that's come under fire for saddling poor nations with debt through big projects that aren't economically sustainable. China has rejected that charge. Japan and China only resumed normal diplomatic relations in the 70s. The two have had a rocky relationship since Japan's occupation of parts of China during World War II.