Premier Wen Jiabao is to meet Japan's minister for economy, trade and industry in an apparent attempt to improve ties between the two countries. It will be the first meeting between a Japanese minister and a top Chinese official since Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi last visited the Yasukuni war shrine which honors several war criminals as well as the country's war dead in October. Beijing has said it will not soften its line on Koizumi's behavior. Japan's trade with China rose 12.7% in 2005 to US$189.4 billion. Exports to China increased 8.9% to US$80.4 billion while imports from China amounted to US$109 billion, a rise of 15.7%.
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