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Hiromu Nonaka, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, on Tuesday asked the Chinese assistant foreign minister to ensure that China refrains from conducting research in Japan’s exclusive economic waters.

Nonaka told Wang Yi, who is visiting ahead of Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji’s visit next month, that Japan-China relations are “not in an ideal state,” citing China’s maritime research activities.

Wang was quoted as saying that China is willing to work out a prior-notice scheme.

Nonaka told Wang during a Tokyo meeting that some are criticizing the government’s continued development aid and yen loans to China in light of the current situation, adding that public support is important for the continuance of payments.

Nonaka is to travel to China on Oct. 7 for a three-day visit to meet with Chinese officials and set the stage for Zhu’s scheduled Oct. 12 visit to Japan. He is also likely to request Chinese support for Japan’s normalization talks with North Korea.

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