(CTN NEWS) – On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and his Japanese colleague Yoshimasa Hayashi spoke about the disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Both expressed worry, and Qin expressed the hope that Japan might end “right-wing” provocations.
The disputed islets in the East China Sea, which both countries claim, have long been a source of friction between the two countries. Japan refers to the islands as Senkaku, whereas theyrefers to them as Diaoyu.
According to a statement from the foreign ministry, Qin told Hayashi in their first discussion since he assumed office that Beijing hopes Japan can prevent “right-wing groups” from inciting conflicts over the disputed islands.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hayashi noted that there are “many obstacles and concerns” in the bilateral relationship and that Japanese public sentiment against China is “very harsh.”
Hayashi also raised “severe concerns” about China’s “increasingly active military activity near Japan” in the East China Sea, citing its actions near the islands.
However, they both committed to working together to develop a positive and stable relationship and stated that they will keep in regular contact at all levels, including at the summit, according to the Japanese statement.
According to the Kyodo news agency, Hayashi stated at a news conference on Friday that Qin had requested him to visit China and that the trip scheduling needed to be worked out.
On Friday, Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary of Japan, stated that the two ministers had spoken and had made plans to develop friendly, cooperative relationships.
During a press conference, he said, “I think their talk was a good start.”
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