Japanese PM Abe to visit China in sign of improved relations

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Head of the Chinese Communist Party's International Department Song Tao talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan October 11, 2018. (Reuters)
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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) shakes hands with China’s President Xi Jinping (R) prior to their bilateral meeting in Vladivostok on September 12, 2018, on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum hosted by Russia. (AFP)
Updated 12 October 2018
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Japanese PM Abe to visit China in sign of improved relations

BEIJING: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to travel to China later this month for his first formal visit in seven years, in a further sign of improving relations between the regional rivals.
Bilateral ties nosedived in 2012 after Japan nationalized a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by Beijing, setting off violent protests in China.
Despite close economic ties, many Chinese also resent Japan over its invasion of their country last century. Beijing routinely warms of resurgent Japanese militarism, despite little evidence of that appearing.
Abe’s Oct. 25-27 visit follows a trip to Japan in May by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the ruling Communist Party’s second-ranking official. President and party leader Xi Jinping is also expected to visit Japan at a future date.
“With joint efforts by the two sides, we maintained the momentum of improving bilateral ties,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters Friday.
Along with trade and investment, talks between the leaders are expected to touch on North Korea, which both countries have been pressing to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
Japan hopes to “step up cooperation in all areas and elevate Japan-China relations to a higher level,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday. “I hope (the leaders) open their hearts and discuss frankly.”


’We failed them’: Australia apologizes to child sex abuse victims

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) delivers a national apology to child sex abuse victims in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra on October 22, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 33 min 54 sec ago
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’We failed them’: Australia apologizes to child sex abuse victims

  • The state apology comes after a five-year Royal Commission that detailed more than 15,000 survivors’ harrowing child sex abuse claims involving thousands of institutions

CANBERRA: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a national apology to victims of child sex abuse in an emotional address to parliament Monday, acknowledging the state failed to stop “evil dark crimes” committed over decades.
“This was done by Australians to Australians, enemies in our midst, enemies in our midst,” Morrison told parliament in a nationally televised address.
“As a nation, we failed them, we forsook them, and that will always be our shame,” he said, his voice cracking as he recounted abuse that permeated religious and state-backed institutions.
Decrying abuse that happened “day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade” in schools, churches, youth groups, scout groups, orphanages, sports clubs and family homes, Morrison declared a new national credo in the face of allegations: “We believe you.”
“Today, we say sorry, to the children we failed. Sorry. To the parents whose trust was betrayed and who have struggled to pick up the pieces. Sorry. To the whistleblowers, who we did not listen to. Sorry.
“To the spouses, partners, wives, husbands, children, who have dealt with the consequences of the abuse, cover-ups and obstruction. Sorry. To generations past and present. Sorry.”
The state apology comes after a five-year Royal Commission that detailed more than 15,000 survivors’ harrowing child sex abuse claims involving thousands of institutions.
In parliament, lawmakers stood for a moment of silence following the remarks as hundreds of survivors looked on or watched in official events across the country.
Relatives of victims who have died wore the tags with the names of daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, for whom this apology comes too late.
A series of institutions have already apologized for their failings, including Australian Catholic leaders who have lamented the church’s “shameful” history of child abuse and cover-ups.
According to the Royal Commission, seven percent of Catholic priests in Australia were accused of abuse between 1950 and 2010, but the allegations were never investigated, with children ignored and even punished.
Some senior members of the church in Australia have been prosecuted and found guilty of covering up abuse.