Japan-China summit shows progress in improving ties: Japan's Suga

TOKYO (Reuters) - A summit meeting between the leaders of Japan and China saw key progress in improving economic and other ties between the two nations, Japan’s top government spokesman said on Monday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping held formal talks in Beijing for the first time since the two leaders took office, a breakthrough in efforts to improve ties between the Asian rivals.

“Leaders (from the two nations) met and exchanged views frankly,” said Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga. “I think there was big progress in freshly improving the economic and various relationships between Japan and China.”

Another significant measure was an agreement between the two leaders to start preparations to set up a maritime crisis mechanism, Suga told a news conference.

Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Clarence Fernandez