Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were present at the signing ceremony ©Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on the delivery of their respective Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The agreement was signed by Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto and Zhang Jiandong, Beijing 2022's executive vice-president and the vice-Mayor.

A signing ceremony took place today in Beijing, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in attendance.

Abe is making the first official visit of a Japanese leader to China for seven years, with the Prime Minister having called for cooperation between the two nations rather than competition.

The Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 deal was one of numerous cooperation agreements reportedly decided during the visit.

Abe and Li announced more than 500 business deals had also been rubber-stamped.

The agreements appear to continue the recent easing of tensions between the two nations.

"We are pleased to have signed this MoU promoting cooperation between the two Organising Committees responsible for delivering consecutive Olympic and Paralympic Games in East Asia," said Muto.

"Based on this MoU, we will promote the exchange of knowledge between the two organisations as well as contribute to promotion of cultural exchange, and we will proceed steadily on our preparations for a successful delivery of the Games."

Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 claim the agreements will aid the transfer of expertise between the two Organising Committees.

This is expected to include expertise gained through the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) knowledge transfer programmes and through an exchange of personnel.

Games-related experiences in areas such as sustainability, Olympic and Paralympic education and the utilisation of emerging technologies are also expected to be shared, it is claimed.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is on an official visit to China ©Getty Images
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is on an official visit to China ©Getty Images

"This is a milestone event in the cooperation between our two organisations," said Zhang.

"We thank the IOC for their strong support for the successful signature of this MoU.

"Both the Beijing 2022 Games and the Tokyo 2020 Games provide unique opportunities for promoting cultural exchanges and friendship between the peoples of China and Japan.

"Japan has hosted one edition of the summer Olympic Games and two editions of the Olympic Winter Games, and is now preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games.

"You have much experience we shall learn from.

"We are also willing to share with our Japanese colleagues our experience from hosting the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and our preparations for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

"I wish every success for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

A similar largely symbolic pledge from the Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committees of Pyeongchang 2018, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 was agreed last year.

This came in the build-up to Pyeongchang 2018, as the South Korean hosts began a run of three successive Asian Olympic Games.

Given the fraught diplomatic relationships between the countries, this was still viewed as a significant move.

Island disputes and memories of World War Two continue to colour relations between Japan and both China and South Korea.