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Japan, China to restart economic dialogue next week

[TOKYO] Japan and China will hold their first high-level economic dialogue in almost eight years next week against a backdrop of rising global trade tensions.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Japan for three days from Sunday to meet his counterpart, Taro Kono, Japan's foreign ministry said. The two nations established the dialogue in 2006 but haven't held a meeting since 2010.

While bilateral trade and investment is strong, the relationship has been plagued by problems in recent years, including a territorial dispute that prompted anti-Japanese demonstrations in China in 2012. There is plenty to talk about, with trade issues adding to regional tensions over North Korea's repeated missile and nuclear tests.

One topic that may be discussed is Japan filing to join a US complaint to the World Trade Organization about China's intellectual property practices. The issue is one at the heart of President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on Chinese exports.

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While Japanese trade minister Hiroshige Seko tried to play down the significance of the WTO filing on Tuesday, it's unlikely to be seen favorably by China.