Foreign minister resigns as chair of Japan-China Parliamentary Friendship Association

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks at a press conference in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi announced Thursday his intention to resign as chairman of the Japan-China Parliamentary Friendship Association, a position he has held since December 2017.

The purpose of the resignation is “to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings in performing my duties as foreign minister,” Hayashi, who was appointed foreign minister Wednesday, said at a press conference.

Hayashi’s appointment as foreign minister raised concerns within the Liberal Democratic Party that he might not have enough distance from China. Regarding how to deal with China, Hayashi said: “I will firmly insist on what needs to be insisted on and call for responsible actions. I believe I can do this even if I am knowledgeable about China.”