The finance ministers of China and Japan exchanged views on deepening cooperation at the Sixth China-Japan Finance Dialogue in Yokohama. Japan’s Finance Minister said the two neighbours agreed to launch joint research on issues of mutual interest.

China is Japan’s largest trading partner.

On Saturday, Xiao Jie, China’s minister of finance, and Taro Aso, Japan’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance, co-chaired the dialogue, with senior officials from finance ministries and central banks of both countries in attendance.

“We actively exchanged views on economic and financial situations in Japan and China and our cooperation in the financial field,” Aso said in a statement made to the press.

“It was significant that we reconfirmed the need of financial cooperation between the two countries while sharing our experiences in dealing with economic policies and structural issues,” he added.

The two ministers also agreed to hold the Seventh China-Japan Finance Dialogue in China next year.

Sino-Japanese trade grew to $340 billion in 2014.

Tensions between the two countries have risen in the past years, with each side accusing the other of flying military aircraft too close to its own jets in a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of islets in the East China Sea.

Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine, regarded by China as a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism has also infuriated both China and South Korea.

Economic ties have suffered in recent times although trade between Japan and China continues to grow.

Japan’s exports to China rose 28.2 per cent year-on-year in February, accelerating from a 3.1 percent gain in the previous month.