• Asia-Pacific

Komeito Head Yamaguchi Meets with China’s Cai, Seeking Path toward Top-level Talks

Jiji Press
Komeito head Natsuo Yamaguchi, right, shakes hands with Cai Qi, a member of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, in Beijing on Wednesday.

BEIJING — Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Komeito, met in Beijing on Wednesday with Cai Qi, a member of the Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, and agreed to resume regular talks between Japan’s ruling parties and CCP officials.

“Trust building and a detente in public sentiment are needed” to allow for reciprocal visits between the countries’ heads, said Yamaguchi, whose party governs with the Liberal Democratic Party. In response, Cai, the fifth-ranking member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee, proposed resuming regular meetings, which had been suspended due to the pandemic.

Yamaguchi argued it was safe and appropriate to discharge treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and called for the ban on Japanese seafood imports to be lifted. Cai reportedly explained China’s position on the issue.

Yamaguchi also called for no unilateral change in the status quo by force, with China’s maritime expansion in mind. And he handed Cai a personal letter from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meant for Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Cai is also director of the party’s General Office, a position equivalent to chief cabinet secretary, and is considered to be Xi’s closest aide.

Yamaguchi sought to meet with Xi during his visit to China, but was unable to do so.