Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi could travel to Tokyo as early as next month to meet his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi and newly installed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s state broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.
The face-to-face meeting would be Suga’s first with a senior Chinese official since he took office earlier this month, following the resignation of Shinzo Abe on medical grounds.
China’s foreign ministry did not respond to requests for comment on Wang’s possible visit.
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According to the NHK report, Suga places the Japan-US alliance at the core of his diplomacy, but is also keen to maintain communication with China to build stable relations.
He is expected to convey as much in his meeting with Wang, it said.
The new prime minister is also expected to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he visits Japan early next month, NHK reported.
The meeting comes amid growing tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to Suga for the first time on the telephone on Friday.
China and Japan had many common interests and plenty of scope for cooperation, Xi was quoted as saying by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
He said he hoped the two countries could maintain stable supply chains, a fair and open investment and trade environment, and increase the quality and level of their cooperation.
The two leaders agreed to pursue high-level contacts in a bid to promote regional and international stability.
“Stable relations are important not just for our countries but for the region and the international community. I want to fulfil that responsibility,” Suga said in comments aired by NHK.
Xi had been expected to visit Tokyo earlier this year, but the trip was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Suga said he and Xi did not discuss rescheduling the visit when they spoke on Friday.
The relationship between Beijing and Tokyo has been under pressure recently.
Earlier this month, a group of about 100 Japanese lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party proposed a joint military exercise between Japan and the US near the disputed Senkaku Islands – or Diaoyus as they are known in China – in the East China Sea in response to patrols by Chinese coastguard vessels in what both sides consider their territorial waters.
More from South China Morning Post:
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This article Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi may visit Japan in October, news report says first appeared on South China Morning Post