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Chinese President, Japanese Opposition Leader Meet

Chinese President Hu says he would like to see his country return to stronger ties with Japan.

Mr. Hu made the comments Tuesday during a meeting with Ichiro Ozawa, the leader of Japan's main opposition party. The two men met as Ozawa visited Beijing in an effort to improve relations between the two countries.

Ozawa was invited to Beijing by the Chinese government. Before leaving Tokyo Monday, he said it is important for Japan and China to develop friendly relations.

The two countries' leaders have not met face-to-face since 2001.

Beijing has objected to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to a Tokyo shrine that honors war dead, including war criminals from World War Two.

Sino-Japanese relations also have been strained by territorial disputes, including access to natural gas deposits in the East China Sea.\

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.