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Japanese, Chinese Leaders Meet, Attempt to Mend Fences


Junichiro Koizumi, left, shakes hands with Hu Jintao, in Jakarta, Saturday
The leaders of Japan and China met Saturday in Jakarta on the sidelines of a summit for African and Asian leaders, in an attempt to ease tensions over Japan's wartime past.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks Saturday at the end of the Asian-African Summit in Jakarta, with both sides expressing hope the rift could be resolved.

However, President Hu told Mr. Kozumi Japan should reflect on its World War II history and follow up its recent apology with concrete action.

Mr. Koizumi struck a more conciliatory tone. "This summit meeting is to confirm that friendly ties between Japan and China will be in the interests of not just our two countries, rather this is a meeting to confirm the importance of our bilateral relations for the two countries, and also for Asia and for the community of nations, as well," said Mr. Koizumi.

The dispute was sparked by a Japanese approved textbook that critics say whitewashes Japan's wartime atrocities.

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