Chinese President Hu Jintao today began a five-day trip to Japan, where he is expected to discuss a new panda for a popular zoo—and play ping-pong with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, the BBC reports. The visit is the first by a Chinese president in a decade, and patching up relations after a rocky period will be the main theme.
"Japan and China are both important countries in Asia and the world," Hu said upon arrival. "This will enhance friendship and co-operation in both countries." China suspended contact with Japan in 2001-2006 in response to PM's Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to a shrine the Chinese believe honors Japanese war criminals.