Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he hopes Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in late June for the Group of 20 summit in Osaka will help accelerate recent improvements in bilateral relations.

"With President Xi's visit, I want to further develop bilateral ties that have returned to a normal track and jointly create a new era for Japan and China," Abe said when he met top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi at the Prime Minister's Office.

Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, responded by saying he sees "new momentum" for bilateral relations.