BEIJING--Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wants to end the long period of acrimony with Japan and put the countries on a “normal path” toward restoring ties during his first visit to Japan starting May 8.

In a contribution submitted to The Asahi Shimbun, Li said Japan-China relations stood “at an intersection for returning to a normal path of development.”

“Through my visit, I want to promote a sound and stable development of our bilateral relationship for the long term,” he wrote.

The state visit to Japan will be his first since he became premier in 2013. It was also the first time Li has submitted a contribution to a Japanese media organization as premier.

Stressing the importance of rebuilding ties through economic cooperation, Li indicated that China planned to announce during his visit that Japanese financial institutions and other entities would be granted the status of renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor (RQFII), enabling them to directly invest in Chinese securities.

The RQFII status would place Japan on the same footing as Western nations. Japanese financial institutions fell behind mainly because of fallout from Japan’s purchase in 2012 of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by China.

Li acknowledged the long period of acrimony following that purchase.

“The path in recent years to promoting the improvement and development of China-Japan ties has been a very long one,” he wrote.

But as a sign of his emphasis on repairing bilateral ties, Li did not dwell on the isles row or other delicate issues that have led to confrontation between China and Japan in recent years.

He wrote that two crested ibises would be given as a gift to Japan as a sign of China’s friendship toward the Japanese people.

He also touched upon the fact that this year represents the 40th anniversary of the signing of the peace and friendship treaty between China and Japan.

Li said he felt the “gravity of the responsibility” he had in working toward improving ties with Japan. He added that tighter relations were necessary for China to further develop economically, saying a stable environment in East Asia was vital for such development.

As another measure for expanded cooperation between the two nations, Li referred to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative designed to construct a modern-day Silk Road connecting China eventually with the Middle East and Europe.

Li also mentioned other areas in which cooperation agreements would be reached during his talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe scheduled for May 9.

The two leaders are expected to sign agreements related to public health, medical science, service industries and social welfare.

(This article was written by Daisuke Nishimura and Naoyuki Fukuda.)