Beijing’s plan for early North nuke talks rebuffed by Tokyo

BEIJING (Kyodo) Japan and China were at odds Saturday over how to restart the six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear programs, with Beijing seeking an early resumption but Tokyo taking a cautious stance.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, did not confirm North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s reported visit to China since Thursday and his rumored talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Changchun, Jilin Province, on Friday.

“Considering the feelings of South Koreans and the South Korean government’s position, it’s not easy (to resume) the six-party talks soon,” Okada told reporters after meeting Yang in Beijing.

Okada was referring to a dispute over the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March.

Ministerial meeting

BEIJING (Kyodo) Japan and China held an economic ministerial meeting in Beijing on Saturday to boost bilateral coordination in promoting a global economic recovery.

In addition to discussing issues such as labor disputes in China and intellectual property rights, Tokyo asked Beijing to ease export controls on rare metals used in hybrid vehicles.