Japan Pm Suga Holds Phone Talks With Xi

Japan PM Suga holds phone talks with Xi

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone on Friday for the first time since Suga took office last week.

Suga spoke to reporters after the talks.

He said, "President Xi and I agreed to continue to work closely in dealing with various bilateral, regional and global issues at high levels, including directly between the leaders."

Suga said Xi indicated his desire to further develop ties with Japan.

The prime minister said he responded by pointing out that a stable Japan-China relationship is extremely important for the region, and the world.

The Chinese leader was scheduled to make a state visit to Japan in April, but it was postponed due to the coronavirus.

Suga said they didn't discuss the matter on Friday.

The talks come with Japan having lodged protests over Chinese government ships repeatedly entering waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

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

Tokyo has also expressed concern over China's national security law for Hong Kong, which took effect in June.

Hong Kong authorities have since arrested several prominent pro-democracy activists.