Japan proposes telephone talks between Kishida and Xi

Japan suggested that China hold phone talks between Prime Minister Fumi Kishida and President Xi Jinping as soon as possible during a meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers in Beijing earlier this month. as reported by Kyodo News.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi made the proposal during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, as Tokyo believes summit dialogue is vital to building “constructive and stable” bilateral relations.

During the scheduled phone talks, Kishida is expected to ask Xi to quickly release a Japanese citizen detained in China last month on suspicion of spying.

Last week, the Japanese embassy in Beijing had consular access to the detainee, who works for the pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma Inc. Tokyo has repeatedly called for his early release.

Kishida is also expected to exchange views with Xi on the war in Ukraine, launched by Russia in February 2022, ahead of the G7 summit scheduled for May in Hiroshima.

Japan expresses deep concern to China over military ties with Russia

Kishida will chair the upcoming G7 summit, which will last three days from May 19 in the city in western Japan. G7 leaders are likely to reaffirm their commitment to countering Russia’s aggression against its neighbor.

For his part, Kishida will raise the issue of Taiwan. China held three days of military exercises near the island in retaliation for last week’s meeting between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles.

Repeated incursions by Chinese ships into Japanese waters around the Tokyo-controlled and Beijing-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and joint Sino-Russian military activities near Japan are other issues being raised. he hopes to talk during the phone calls between Kishido and Xi.

Hayashi’s visit to Beijing came after Kishida and Xi agreed to organize a trip at a summit in Bangkok last November.

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