Holding summits and mending strained ties with China and South Korea are Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s priorities, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said Wednesday as the new Cabinet got down to their first day of work.

“It is important for all of us to make efforts and use our wisdom to hold Japan-China and Japan-South Korea summit talks as soon as possible, and to have relations with those countries contribute to stability in East Asia,” the top government spokesman said. Abe has said he wants top-level talks with Beijing and Seoul, which the two governments nixed to protest visits by his predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, to Yasukuni Shrine.

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