Kono Expresses Hope For Improved China Ties

Kono expresses hope for improved China ties

Foreign Minister Taro Kono has indicated Japan's willingness to cooperate with China on infrastructure projects for developing countries.

Kono made the remarks in a speech on Friday at Georgetown University in Washington. He is a graduate of the university.

Kono described relations with China as a mid- to long-term challenge. Beijing is working on infrastructure projects in developing countries under the "Belt and Road" initiative.

The minister said there are great possibilities for cooperation if the projects meet international criteria in terms of transparency, openness and the fiscal stability of recipients.

He mentioned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's planned visit to China in October. He said while there are issues of concern between the countries, he hopes for stronger ties.

Kono also touched on North Korea. He said Japan is ready to provide economic aid if diplomatic ties with Pyongyang are normalized.

He added if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hopes for economic advancement, he must first achieve denuclearization.