Japan yesterday voiced hope for "mutually beneficial" ties with China's new leaders amid a bitter maritime dispute, but analysts said Beijing's territorial ambitions are unlikely to fade any time soon.
Relations between the two countries are some of the "most important... for Japan and China and for the whole world", said the foreign ministry's deputy press secretary Naoko Saiki in Tokyo.
"We really hope that the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests will be further developed and enhanced with the new leadership" of China, she said.
Saiki was speaking hours after China's Communist Party unveiled a new seven-man leadership council headed by Xi Jinping to take command of the world's most populous nation for the next decade.
North Korea, which counts China as its only major ally, was swift to respond, with leader Kim Jong-Un offering "warm congratulations" to Xi.