The Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Sunday, expressed optimism for improved relations with China during talks in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Japan is making efforts to strengthen its relations with China dogged by history and a territorial dispute, reports Washington Post.

Concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program also featured prominently in the discussions.

Japan has pushed for stricter measures against the North, which fired a ballistic missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido in August.

“Not only do we need to manage our bilateral relations, but we also need to work together to deal with issues facing the entire globe, in particular the issue of North Korea, which is the matter at hand for international society as a whole,” Kono said.

Kono was also expected to discuss possible arrangements for a trilateral summit this spring in Tokyo between leaders from China, South Korea and Japan.

Following the talks, Kono is due to meet with senior foreign policy adviser State Councilor Yang Jiechi, and visit top leaders, possibly including President Xi Jinping.