Listen To The Story


SCOTT JAGOW: It's been years since the leaders of Japan and China got together for a sit-down. The two countries don't like each other very much. The Chinese, in particular, hold a grudge about a brutal Japanese invasion in 1937. But this weekend, Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives in China to try to make some amends. Jocelyn Ford reports from Beijing.

JOCELYN FORD: Chinese leaders had refused to hold summits with Japan's outgoing Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, because he'd insisted on visiting a shrine where Japanese war criminals are honored.

The visit this Sunday signals the new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to overcome old animosities.

Political analyst Robert Broadfoot:

ROBERT BROADFOOT: "Japan has already sent out the message that its days of sitting on the sidelines in Asia are over. It's going to be more aggressive at pursuing Japan's national interest. "

In the case of China, that could mean cooperating on energy security, for example by jointly exploring for oil.

But top of the agenda this weekend, is likely to be how to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions.

In Beijing, I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.