Japanese, Chinese Foreign Ministers Agree to Continue Dialogue

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, left, shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang on Sunday in Beijing.

BEIJING — Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang have agreed that Japan and China will continue close communications at the summit and foreign ministerial levels, as part of efforts to stabilize bilateral relations.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between the two foreign ministers. Their talks lasted nearly four hours, including lunch, exceeding the originally scheduled 2½ hours.

This was also the first visit to China by a Japanese foreign minister in about three years and three months, since then Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in December 2019.

“Despite having many possibilities, the Japan-China relationship is currently in a very important phase, facing numerous challenges and serious pending issues,” Hayashi said at the beginning of the meeting.

Regarding a Japanese man who has been detained by Chinese authorities, Qin insisted that the case would be handled in accordance with the law.

In light of this case and other pending matters, Hayashi reminded Qin that a transparent, fair business environment and a guarantee of legitimate economic activities must be ensured in order to promote economic cooperation and expand personnel exchanges, which both countries have agreed to do.

Hayashi also expressed serious concern about China’s increased military activities around Japan in cooperation with Russia.

As for the matters related withTaiwan, Qin reiterated his previous position that Japan “must not interfere.”

Hayashi and Qin agreed to resume coordination for a trilateral summit between the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea, which has been postponed for three consecutive years.

Hayashi then met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, who took the country’s No. 2 post last month, for about 40 minutes. He also spoke with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, who is a member of the politburo of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, for about one hour and 40 minutes including dinner.