Japanese foreign minister visits China to promote bilateral ties
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will pay an official visit to China from Saturday to Sunday. This is Kono's first official visit to China after he assumed his post in August. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him and exchange opinions on bilateral ties and issues of common concern.
Taro Kono, Japan's Foreign Affairs Minister gives opening remarks at the "Vancouver Foreign Ministers Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula" on January 16, 2018, in Vancouver, British Columbia. [File photo: VCG]
A day before Kono’s departure, he was interviewed by Phoenix TV in Tokyo. The minister said he hopes his visit will promote ties between the two countries.
When asked about the Diaoyu Islands issue, Kono said he believes the air and sea emergency management is critical. He planned to discuss this mechanism during his China visit.
Kono emphasized that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is willing to work with China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He said they want to cooperate on projects that abide by international standards.
Teng Jianqun from China Institute of International Studies shared his views on Kono’s visit and China-Japan relations. He thinks that Kono's visit to China is partly to prepare for the upcoming meeting among China, South Korea and Japan.
On Monday, Abe said his administration would like to improve relations with China. China’s Foreign Ministry responded positively to Abe’s remarks.
Teng believes that Kono’s visit is a good chance to improve bilateral ties as some thorny issues are still persisting. Also, the 40th anniversary of the agreement of friendship and peace between the two countries is approaching.
As to Japan’s increasing interest in the China-proposed BRI, Teng said the initiative is open and free to any country that takes interest.
He also noticed that as US President Donald Trump persists on his “America First” policy, Abe is clever enough to realize that the policy is not only about trade, but also about foreign policy. Therefore, Japan is more actively seeking to take part in the BRI.