On November 10, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the sideline of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing. This was the first time the two leaders had met since Abe returned to power in December 2012 and Xi ascended to the presidency in 2013. In fact, leaders of the two nations have not held a formal bilateral meeting since the former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met with the former Chinese President Hu Jintao in December 2011. Since the Japanese Government’s decision in September 2012 to purchase three islands of the Senkaku Islands chain, there has been no cabinet-level meeting between Japan and China either. While the Abe-Xi meeting in Beijing does not suggest any dramatic improvement in Japan-China relations, it still marks an important first step towards the stabilization of Japan-China relations.
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