• Kyodo

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Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai and Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai held talks Saturday as bilateral ties remain strained due mainly to disputes over history and energy projects.

Although details of their discussions have yet to be known, Nikai and Bo are expected to have talked about the need to promote energy-saving projects and revitalize trade with a view to strengthening bilateral economic ties.

Japanese officials said earlier that how to utilize Japan’s energy-saving technologies in China has been a challenge because China’s demand for crude oil and other energy sources has been increasing against the backdrop of high economic growth in the country and also because oil prices are soaring.

Nikai gave red carpet treatment to Bo, inviting him to the Kyoto State Guesthouse, which has only been used for meetings involving government leaders since it opened in April 2005.