2 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Japanese Foreign Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, met this Sunday in Beijing with his new Chinese counterpart, Qin Gang, after more than three years without face-to-face talks between senior diplomats from both countries, involved in a wide variety of issues. , from territorial disputes to historical grievances to differences in international loyalties.
On the table, both diplomats will discuss issues such as, for example, China’s territorial claims in the East China Sea or Japan’s close cooperation with the United States in the face of the traditional Sino-Russian alliance, both factors that led Japan to announce , in December last year, its most ambitious national security strategic plan since the end of World War II after decades of “self-defense” culture.
The two countries are also at odds over new restrictions on the export of semiconductor manufacturing equipment from Japan and the discharge of contaminated cooling water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor in the Pacific. In addition, the recent arrest of an employee of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas on espionage charges in China is further straining relations.
In his opening remarks, Hayashi explained that “it is increasingly important” for Japan and China to maintain “constructive and stable” bilateral relations despite “many challenges,” reports the official Japanese news agency Kyodo.
Qin, for his part, has pointed out that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the signing of the 1978 bilateral Treaty of Peace and Friendship and that “correct decisions” must be made to honor the spirit of the pact. The Chinese minister vowed to work with Hayashi to promote more exchanges and dialogues so that the two countries can “move forward by removing obstacles.”
This meeting is the result of rapprochement talks held by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok in November, to relax tensions between the two countries.
It should be remembered that, in another conciliation effort, both countries also established a hotline between their security forces on Friday after years of plans in this regard, to avoid possible misunderstandings in case of incidents.
Hayashi is scheduled to meet with China’s foreign policy chief Wang Yi and Premier Li Qiang on Sunday afternoon. He will be the Japanese prime minister to meet Li, who took over as chief executive last month.