Japan's new nationalist prime minister Shinzo Abe pledged to repair relations with China at his first news conference after being elected by parliament to succeed Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister, AP reported. Abe, Japan's youngest premier at 52, said he would try to soothe relations with Asian neighbors, particularly China. Taro Aso, known for his hard-line stance toward China, returned to Cabinet for a second stint as foreign minister and put a summit with China at the top of the agenda. Chinese President Hu Jintao has refused to meet with Koizumi since last year over his visits to the Yasukuni war shrine, which honors war criminals among Japan's war dead. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang urged Abe to pursue better ties, making a veiled reference to Yasukuni. "At present, there are obstacles to bilateral ties. The reasons are quite clear and the Japanese government is aware of them," he said.