China and Japan begin talks to warm their long-chilled relations

China and Japan began talks on trade and economic issues Saturday that are intended to bolster the recent warming of their long-uneasy relations. The weekend of meetings brings together the largest number of Cabinet officials from the two countries since they opened diplomatic ties 35 years ago and is modeled after similar dialogues China holds with the United States and the European Union. "We are intensifying the dialogues at a very high political level," Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mitsuo Sakaba told reporters. Only two modest agreements were struck - one on a 46.3 billion yen (US$420 million; €285 million) Japanese loan to China to fund six environmental projects, and the other a treaty to allow the countries' police and prosecutors to work directly on criminal extradition.