Japan FM to visit China, first time in over 3 years

Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan’s chief diplomat, will travel to China this weekend, marking the first time in more than three years that he has done so.

According to the ministry, the journey on April 1-2 will include discussions with Hayashi’s Chinese counterpart Qin Gang and will mark the first overseas visit by a Japanese foreign minister since December 2019.

Since China’s military power in the area has been increasing, relations between Tokyo and Beijing have become tense.

But in November of last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met outside of a meeting in Bangkok and agreed to keep in touch on a high level.

Tokyo has accused Chinese vessels of increasing incursions into Japanese waters, including near the disputed islands that Japan calls the Senkakus and Beijing the Diaoyus.

This week, Tokyo also called for Beijing to release a Japanese businessman held by Chinese authorities on unspecified allegations of violating domestic laws.

Wary of growing Chinese military clout, and spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Japan has overhauled its defence and security strategy.

It made plans to increase defense expenditure to 2% of GDP by 2027 last year.

China and Japan, the second and third-largest economies in the globe, are important trading partners. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Xi was scheduled to pay a state visit to Tokyo.

But since then, ties have deteriorated noticeably as Beijing builds up its military, projects power throughout the area and beyond, and adopts a tougher stance on territorial disputes.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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