Japan and China have agreed to launch talks to facilitate cooperation on infrastructure development projects in third countries amid a recent thaw in bilateral relations, diplomatic sources said Friday.

The inaugural meeting is being arranged for April or May in Beijing, before Chinese President Xi Jinping's planned visit to Japan in June for the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, according to the sources.

The launch of talks comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is shifting toward conditional cooperation with China despite Xi's "Belt and Road" initiative to build infrastructure networks in Asia and beyond, which has raised concerns over the possibility Beijing could pull many developing countries into its economic orbit.