Japan PM Abe shakes hands with China's Xi at G20
ST. PETERSBURG - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping shook hands and exchanged words politely on Thursday on the sidelines of a G20 summit meeting, a Japanese official said, in an unexpected show of cordiality amid strained ties.
Ties between the world's second- and third-largest economies have been strained for months because of a row over tiny islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
There are also disputes over the countries' bitter wartime past.
Abe is keen to improve ties and has called for dialogue with China, though he has rejected any conditions on talks. China has shown no inclination to respond to the overtures.
The contact took place shortly before G20 leaders kicked off their main session, a Japanese government official said.
What was said was not divulged but they met for about four to five minutes and spoke through interpreters, the official told reporters.