Beijing remains opposed to direct talks between Japanese Prime Minster Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jiantao, or any full ministerial contact between the two countries, AFP reported. The standoff continues despite the fourth round of China-Japan strategic talks held over the weekend between China's Foreign Vice-Minister Dai Bingguo and his Japanese counterpart, Shotaro Yachi. The two sides exchanged views on issues of mutual concern and agreed to hold similar meetings in the future "when necessary". China maintains an angry attitude towards the Japanese prime minister's repeated visits to honor Japanese war dead at Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which contains war criminals. Koizumi has promised to step down as premier in September after more than five years in office.