Beijing - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he wants to lift China-Japan ties into a "new dimension" as he kicked off his three-day visit to Beijing on Thursday, the first bilateral visit by a Japanese prime minister in seven years.
"As problems that cannot be resolved by one country alone have risen, the time has come for Japan and China to jointly contribute to world peace and prosperity," Abe said, speaking at a reception marking the 40th anniversary of a treaty between the two nations, according to Kyodo news agency.
Abe said China and Japan "are playing an essential role in economic growth" in Asia, and that he was eager to lift the countries' ties to a "new dimension," into a "new era."
Abe is set to meet with President Xi Jinping on Friday.
The two historic rivals have been pushed closer to each other under pressure from the United States.