Chinese Foreign Minister to Make Long Delayed Trip to Japan and South Korea
What’s new: China’s foreign minister Wang Yi will visit Japan and South Korea from Tuesday to Friday next week, ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian announced during a press conference on Friday without elaboration.
It would mark Wang’s first visit to Japan since Yoshihide Suga became the country’s new prime minister, succeeding Shinzo Abe in September. China’s highest ranking diplomat Yang Jiechi, a member of the Politburo, visited Tokyo in late February.
Wang is expected to meet with Suga during his two-day trip, Japan’s Kyodo News reported. He will also meet with his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday, it said.
In Tokyo on Friday, Motegi said during a press conference that “There are various matters of concern between Japan and China and it is important that we resolve them one by one through high-level meetings.”
“We had the most number of tourists and visitors from China before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus virus. I want to have thorough discussions about ways to resume travel while taking infection prevention measures,” Motegi said.
What’s more: Motegi also said that the rescheduling of a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan is unlikely to be discussed in the talks with Wang, because “now is a time to prioritize measures against the novel coronavirus.”
Xi’s visit to Japan was reportedly planned for around spring this year but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wang’s visit also came after the signing of the 15-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, an Asia-Pacific mega free trade deal in which China and Japan reached their first bilateral tariff reduction agreement.
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Contact editor Heather Mowbray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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