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Japan's FM will make China visit

By Zhang Yunbi and Cai Hong and Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-27 07:39

Wang to discuss issues of common concern with Tokyo counterpart

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will pay an official visit to China on Saturday and Sunday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying announced on Friday.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with Kono during his stay in Beijing and exchange views on China-Japan ties as well as issues of common concern, Hua said. Kono's visit will be his first to China since becoming foreign minister in August.

Wang and Kono previously had two face-to-face meetings in August and September on the sidelines of international conferences.

The China-Japan relationship shows improving momentum, but it still faces challenges, and it is hoped that Tokyo will work with Beijing during Kono's visit to boost lasting improvement and development of the ties, Hua said.

One of the most recent official visits made by a top Japanese diplomat to China was that of then-foreign minister Fumio Kishida in 2016.

Leaders on both sides have voiced hope for the relations as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

In a recent written interview with Chinese media, Kono noted that China and Japan are respectively the second-and third-largest economies in the world and said the steady growth of their ties benefits both nations and the global community.

Kono said he hopes to boost bilateral trust through the visit, and it is important for both countries to join hands in tackling global issues such as climate change and terrorism.

Gao Hong, a senior researcher of Japan studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the China-Japan relationship has improved bit by bit in recent years as President Xi Jinping met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe six times since 2014.

However, Gao said he is only prudently optimistic about the relations' prospects because deep-seated sensitive issues have yet to be resolved, and Japan should make more tangible efforts to work on them.

In another development, Hua said on Friday that China is "strongly dissatisfied" about the Japanese government opening an exhibition in Tokyo on Thursday in which it claims the Diaoyu Islands as Japan's inherent territory.

"The Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. China's sovereignty over the islands has an ample historical and legal basis," the spokeswoman said.

"What Japan does will not change one bit the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China. China is firmly determined to safeguard its sovereignty over the islands," Hua said.



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