Officials from Japan and China are arranging for Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan to visit Japan in October to attend the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito.
Diplomatic sources say the officials are preparing for Wang to attend the October 22 event.
Wang is also expected to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit.
Wang is said to be well trusted by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He is a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee, which is the country's top leadership body, and played a key role in cracking down on corruption during Xi's first term.
The last time Japan held an enthronement ceremony in 1990, China sent a vice premier.