Abe's three-day visit reflects growing attempts by both sides to improve relations, which have previously come under strain over wartime history and the territorial dispute over Japanese-controlled islets in the East China Sea (known as the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyus in China). "Whenever they feel the need to take it out, I'm sure they will do that". This year is the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China.
On the Taiwan issue, Abe reaffirmed Japan's adherence to its position stated in the 1972 Japan-China Joint Statement.
In a statement before he leaves for Japan on Saturday to attend the annual summit on October 28 and 29, Modi said India's partnership with Japan is of great substance and objective.
As the largest beneficiaries of the free trade system, Japan and China should keep cooperating to reinforce multilateral free trade systems such as the World Trade Organization, Abe said.
"China and Japan are neighbours and partners, and we will not be a threat to each other", he said.
Abe had, in fact, met with Trump last September 26, a month before his visit to China. They are also expected to discuss North Korea and the U.S.
Abe said on Friday that bilateral relations with China are at an "historic turning point" and that he expects new possibilities in industries such as infrastructure, logistics, healthcare and finance. Tensions flared in 2012 - the year Mr Abe took power - when Japan bought part of an uninhabited chain of East China Sea islets disputed with Beijing, sparking sometimes violent protests in China, sending relations to arguably their most hostile since World War II. Abe and Li also agreed to move ahead with negotiations on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which the two countries and ASEAN are promoting, as well as a free trade agreement among Japan, China and South Korea.
Abe, who has been accompanied on his visit by a 500-strong business delegation, expressed hopes for closer ties and a shift in relations from "competition to cooperation", an apparent reference to the rifts that until recently have muted Japanese business interests in China.
"Thorough strategic communication should be carried out, and the two countries' dialogue mechanisms should play a better role via diverse channels at multiple-levels, so that each side can precisely grasp the other's development and strategic intentions".
Osuga did note that universal values and maritime security were important principles of Japan's engagement with China.
Shiro Armstrong, director of the Australia-Japan Research Center at the Australian National University, said that for Japan, "the balancing act is not to give away too much" as its ties with China develop.
"If he adjusts his relationship with China, he will have more initiative and space in the future when he is negotiating with the United States".
"In the past several years, the China-Japan relationship has experienced ups and downs".
Unlike the United States, Vogel said, Japan never harbored illusions that China would become like the West, an outlook that has led to more realistic expectations about the extent of a possible rapprochement.
Yuichiro Tamaki, the leader of an opposition party, said that even some younger lawmakers in Mr Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party are cautious about the relationship.
The visit, which featured Japanese flags hung in the heart of Beijing, marks a dramatic outward improvement in ties from six years ago.