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"I want to raise Japan-China relations to a new level", Abe said, adding that he also planned to visit Beijing later this year.

This was Li's first visit to Japan since taking office.

Cooperative agreements signed between Japan and China and positive results from trilateral talks by leaders of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea on Wednesday will help promote peace, stability and prosperity for Asia and the world at large, he said.

The four documents refer to the 1972 Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the 1978 China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the 1998 China-Japan Joint Declaration, and the 2008 joint statement on advancing strategic and mutually beneficial relations.

This is the best way to commemorate the signing of China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Li told a reception marking the 40th anniversary of the treaty in Tokyo. He has met with Abe on Wednesday as they agreed to enhance political mutual trust and step up economic cooperation between the two countries.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations have improved in recent years after deteriorating sharply in 2012, when Tokyo nationalized a cluster of disputed East China Sea islets that China also claims.

Abe, who rolled out the red carpet for Li at Akasaka Palace, a state guest house in the west of the city, said Li's visit marked a fresh start for bilateral ties.

As two of the world's major economies, China and Japan should make further efforts to safeguard the multilateral trading system and free trade by fighting against rising protectionism, Li said. He said he looks forward to more of such high-level visits between the two neighbors.

China and Japan will also launch a public-private sector council to consider cooperation projects related to China's Belt and Road initiative, while China will allow Japanese investors to buy up to 200bn yuan (US$31.4bn) worth of securities in Chinese onshore markets. New opportunities will come for pragmatic cooperation between China and Japan.



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