China's foreign minister visits Japan to seek cooperation amid regional tensions

WION Web Team
Tokyo, Japan Published: Nov 24, 2020, 05.24 PM(IST)

File photo: Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

While Japanese Prime Minister Suga has steered clear of the harsh anti-China rhetoric used by Japan's ally the United States, he has moved to counter its influence by deepening ties with Australia and making his first overseas trip to Vietnam and Indonesia

 China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Tokyo on Tuesday (November 24), marking the first such high-level trip since Japan picked a new leader in September and amid mounting concerns over Beijing's growing assertiveness in the region.

At the beginning of a meeting with Wang, the Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said the relations between Japan and China are extremely important for the region and the world, and called for cooperation to tackle global challenges together.

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Wang stressed the need for continuous communication. "Under our combined leadership, today we had a first face-to-face meeting against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which is timely and meaningful," he said.

Before the meeting, Motegi said he would have a "frank exchange" of views on bilateral relations with Wang, including on how to resume traffic between the two countries during the pandemic. Japanese media reported that Motegi would also raise concerns about China's beefed-up activity in the East China Sea.

While Japanese Prime Minister Suga has steered clear of the harsh anti-China rhetoric used by Japan's ally the United States, he has moved to counter its influence by deepening ties with Australia and making his first overseas trip to Vietnam and Indonesia.

Relations between the two countries have been strained over territorial disputes and wartime history. But ties have improved in recent years while china’s trade dispute with the US has escalated. Japan, a key US ally, sees China as a crucial trading partner and faces the challenge of balancing its relations with both nations.

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