**Japanese Lawmaker in China for Talks on Island Dispute**
A Japanese ruling party envoy is in China for talks aimed at reducing tensions over a bitter territorial dispute.
Natsuo Yamaguchi arrived Tuesday in Beijing, where he is delivering a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Yamaguchi hopes to meet with new Chinese leader Xi Jinping and other senior leaders during his four-day visit.
Earlier, he expressed hopes the visit would help normalize relations and lead to a bilateral summit.
Yamaguchi is the first Japanese lawmaker to visit China since the hawkish government of Mr. Abe came to power in December.
Both sides have given recent indications they are ready to de-escalate the dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.
** US, China Reach Deal on Tightening UN Sanctions on North Korea: Diplomats**
Diplomats at the United Nations say the United States has reached a deal with China on tightening international sanctions against North Korea for its December rocket launch.
The diplomats say the U.S. circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member U.N. Security Council. It could vote as early as Tuesday to punish North Korea for the launch.
They say the resolution would condemn the launch and expand existing sanctions. But it is not clear if it would add any new sanctions - a step that China, Pyongyang's only major ally, has been reluctant to accept.
Washington has been pushing Beijing to accept strong measures following the rocket launch, which was widely condemned as a disguised missile test banned under U.N. sanctions.