Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Japan on Friday for his first visit since a territorial spat erupted two months ago that badly strained ties between the two Asian neighbours.
Mr. Hu arrived for a weekend summit in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, that brings together leaders from 21 Pacific Rim countries and territories, including the U.S. and Russia.
Relations between Tokyo and Beijing remain tense after Japan arrested a Chinese fishing boat captain whose boat collided with two Japanese patrol vessels near disputed islands in the East China Sea on September 7.
Efforts on to fix meeting with Kan
Japanese officials are still trying to arrange a meeting between Mr. Hu and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan during the Asia—Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit.
The two leaders had a brief encounter last month on the sidelines of a summit in Brussels, but have yet to hold a formal meeting.
The boat collision sparked nationalism in both countries. Japan released the captain, but Beijing demanded an apology and compensation, prompting Tokyo to demand that Beijing pay for damage to the patrol boats.
Beijing cut off ministerial—level contacts with Japan, repeatedly summoned Tokyo’s ambassador to complain, and postponed talks on the joint development of undersea natural gas fields. China also quietly halted exports to Japan of rare earth metals, which are essential for making high—tech products.
Coast guard officer being questioned
Last week, a video showing the September 7 collisions was leaked on YouTube, prompting concerns about a fresh flare—up of tensions. A coast guard officer who admitted posting the video is being questioned by the police.
The video had been kept secret, other than an edited version shown to some legislators, angering some in Japan who thought it may be evidence of Chinese wrongdoing. The video shows the fishing boat ramming into a Japanese patrol vessel amid screams and wailing sirens.
Japan-Russia territorial row
Japan is also embroiled in a territorial dispute with Russia.
Earlier this month, President Dmitry Medvedev visited an island just off the northern coast of Japan claimed by both Russia and Japan, triggering protests from Tokyo.
Mr. Medvedev, who also arrived for the APEC summit on Friday, plans to meet with Mr. Kan on Saturday evening.