NHK: China's foreign minister may visit Japan as early as October

Nellie Chapman
September 27, 2020

"We'll proceed with negotiations with each country", he said. "I call on all of you to unite in solidarity so we can turn the current crisis into an opportunity to reinforce our cooperation".

The MEA said the two leaders concurred that the partnership between the two countries is even more relevant in today's times given the global challenges, including that of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the Japanese foreign ministry said Suga expressed his intention to promote bilateral cooperation in the fields of security and economy, and to work with India towards achieving a "free and open Indo-Pacific".

As key players in Asia and the world, the two countries enjoy various common interests and wide cooperative space, he noted, adding that with joint efforts of the two sides, China-Japan relations have gotten back on track and maintained a positive momentum.

Working with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Japan is supporting the establishment of an ASEAN Center for public health emergencies and emerging diseases, he said, adding that Tokyo is backing a similar initiative in Africa as well.

New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in talks on Friday to work closely together by holding high-level meetings including summits, but did not discuss the possibility of a visit by Xi to Japan.

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As part of its steps to help developing countries hit by the pandemic, Japan is offering up to $4.5 billion in emergency loans, Suga will also say.

Yoshihide Suga following his confirmation as prime minister of Japan in Tokyo, Japan on September 16, 2020. Suga had served as Abe's chief Cabinet secretary and spokesman for almost eight years but his diplomatic skills remain unknown as he has been known as a domestic-oriented politician.

Tokyo is also in a dispute with Beijing over ownership of islands in the East China Sea and has expressed concern about an uptick in Chinese military activity the region.

The Japanese prime minister also told the United Nations assembly he is ready to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without any preconditions to resolve the long-running issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North decades ago, reiterating the stance of his predecessor.

Currently, people from 159 countries and regions are denied entry to the country, but Japan has steadily been easing its entry restrictions.

On Thursday, Suga held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and urged him to take actions to mend bilateral relations badly damaged by war compensation issues.

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