Japan and China plan to cooperate on breeding research for giant pandas by signing a memorandum later this month when their leaders meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

The signing is intended to showcase the continuing thaw in bilateral relations that have been frayed over territorial and historical issues and paves the way for China's future lease of another giant panda at the request of Japan, they said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to make his first visit to Japan since he came to power in 2013 and a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being arranged on the fringes of the June 28-29 G20 summit.