• Kyodo

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The foreign ministers of Japan and China are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of a regional meeting that starts next Friday in Malaysia, according to a Foreign Ministry official.

“The specific schedule is still in the works, but I have heard that it is planned,” the official said.

The official made the comment while briefing reporters after Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with Deputy Foreign Minister Tsuneo Nishida in Beijing.

Both Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Li will be in Kuala Lumpur to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia’s largest annual security gathering that brings together Southeast Asian countries, China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and others.

Aso and Li last met in May.

The official quoted Li as saying he hopes to meet Aso in Kuala Lumpur and hold frank exchanges on issues including bilateral relations.

Earlier in the day, Justice Minister Seiken Sugiura said in China that the two nations have agreed to begin formal negotiations on a bilateral treaty that would allow their criminal investigators to cooperate without going through diplomatic channels.

They also agreed to explore the possibility of concluding two other treaties — one on extradition and the other on transfer of convicts to allow them to serve time in their own country.

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