Japan and China have decided to craft a major political document that will lay the foundation for the two countries' future relations and are likely to unveil it when Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Japan as a state guest in the spring, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Xi agreed to create the document, the fifth of its kind since the countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972, during a meeting in December in Beijing last year, the sources said.

While relations between Japan and China have often been frayed by differing views of wartime history and territorial disputes, ties have improved in recent years amid Beijing's trade spat with the United States.