China FM in Japan to Discuss Concerns 11/24 06:19
TOKYO (AP) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Japanese
counterpart in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss ways to revive their pandemic-hit
economies as well as regional concerns over China's growing influence.
Wang and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi were expected to
discuss resuming business trips between the world's No. 2 and No. 3 economies
through a "business track" program that would allow visitors to engage in
limited business activity during 14-day quarantine periods. Japan recently
launched such arrangements with a few less-infected Asian countries.
Wang's visit comes as Japan is grappling with a resurgence of coronavirus
infections and the government struggles to balance disease prevention and the
Chinese visitors topped the number of tourists in Japan before the pandemic.
Wang is to meet with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday, the first
meeting with a Japanese leader by a top Chinese official since the February
visit of Chinese foreign policy chief Yang Jiechi.
Japan and China say they are not currently considering rescheduling Chinese
President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan, postponed from the spring due to
Relations between the two countries have been strained over territorial
disputes and wartime history. But ties have improved in recent years while
China's trade dispute with the U.S. has escalated. Japan, a key U.S. ally, sees
China as a crucial trading partner and faces the challenge of balancing its
relations with both nations.
The visit also comes amid growing concerns about China's increasing
influence in the region.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held talks last week with Suga and
agreed to step up their military partnership to promote peace and stability in
the Indo-Pacific region as a counter to China's rise.
Japan and Australia, along with the U.S. and India, are also trying to bring
in Southeast Asian nations and others to join their cooperation. Beijing has
criticized the moves.
After his visit to Japan, Wang will head for meetings in South Korea.