Japan's land minister Akihiro Ota has met Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong in Beijing.
Ota on Friday became the first Japanese cabinet minister to hold talks with a Chinese vice premier since Japan nationalized 3 of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in September 2012. Japan controls Senkakus; China and Taiwan claim them.
Ota is a member of New Komeito, the junior partner of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Liu told Ota that the New Komeito has played an important role in promoting the development of Japan-China relations. She added that Ota's visit to China as land minister at this time of soured bilateral relations has unusual implications.
The remark appears to reflect China's expectation that he will play active role in breaking the stalemate.
Jun. 27, 2014 - Updated 06:50 UTC