Japan’s Abe dubs China vital economic partner amid territorial disputes

April 17, 2014 10:42 AM

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TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticised Beijing for trying to "change the status quo" with force in maritime disputes but said China was a vital economic partner, as a series of visits suggested a possible thaw in ties between the Asian rivals.

Sino-Japanese ties have been strained by a territorial row over tiny disputed isles in the East China Sea and perceptions in Beijing that Abe wants to rewrite Japan's wartime history and tone down past apologies.

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