<pJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to travel to ChinaJapan nationalized a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by Beijing, setting off violent protests in China.
<pDespite close economic ties, many Chinese also resent Japan over its invasion of their country last century. Beijing routinely warms of resurgent Japanese militarism, despite little evidence of that appearing.
<pAbe's Oct. 25-27 visit follows a trip to Japan in May by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the ruling Communist Party's second-ranking official. President and party leader Xi Jinping is also expected to visit Japan at a future date.
<p"With joint efforts by the two sides, we maintained the momentum of improving bilateral ties," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters Friday.
<pAlong with trade and investment, talks between the leaders are expected to touch on North Korea<p———
<pAssociated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.