Japan’s Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi on Tuesday said that the country is planning to express concerns China’s maritime activities and its tightened control on Hong Kong during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is arriving in Japan on Tuesday for talks with his counterpart Motegi Toshimitsu. He is also expected to meet Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide the following day.
This will be the first time since the launch of Suga’s Cabinet that a high-ranking official from China is coming to Japan. Japan also wants to reaffirm with China the importance of high-level communication between the countries in order to build stable bilateral ties.
“There are various complicated issues in the relations of Japan and China, it is important to solve them one by one during high-level negotiations. The trends in the Chinese military cause serious concerns from the regional security point of view, which includes our country. It is important to clearly and sincerely express this concern and try to look for common ground,” Kishi was quoted as saying.
The visit is also unlikely to dilute major differences between the two regional powers, said analysts, adding that it was uncertain whether Wang could nail down a date for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s much-delayed trip to Japan.
Chinese vessels have repeatedly intruded into Japan’s territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains that the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory.
Since the imposition of the national security law on Hong Kong, many countries including Japan have expressed concerns on Beijing’s clampdown on dissent.