Japan Eyes Economic Cooperation With China

Japan eyes economic cooperation with China

Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is seeking to strengthen cooperation with China in the economic field to improve relations. He also wants China to act positively on maritime and security issues around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.

Suga met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tokyo on Wednesday. He called on China to lift its import restrictions on food from Japan, and expressed concern about the situation in Hong Kong.

Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu made similar appeals during their talks with Wang.

Japanese government officials say it was significant that candid opinions were expressed on pending bilateral issues and matters of concern for the international community.

The Japanese government thinks it is unlikely that China will make concessions at an early date on security issues, including those involving the East and South China Seas. It plans to maintain communication and to continue calling for a resolution of the issues.

The government takes the view that economic recovery is a common challenge facing both nations after the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan hopes to step up bilateral economic cooperation, including the planned resumption of business travel between the two countries by the end of November.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had been scheduled to visit Japan in early April, but his trip was postponed due to the pandemic. The visit was reportedly not discussed at the series of meetings. The Japanese government plans to consider the matter based on views within the ruling parties and public opinion.