Japan and China plan security talks ‘in near future’ – Japan foreign minister

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TOKYO: Japan and China are hoping to hold security talks “in the near future”, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said on Saturday after meeting China’s top diplomat Wang Yi in South Korea.

The talks between Kamikawa and Wang marked the first time the two senior diplomats had met since Kamikawa became Japan’s foreign minister in September and followed on from leadership talks held just over a week ago.

“We confirmed that we are seeking further close communication on a variety of issues… and we are hoping to hold security talks in the near future,” Kamikawa told reporters.

Japan and China will also seek high-level talks on the economy, Kamikawa said, adding that no date had been set.

China’s President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met on the sidelines of an international conference in the United States earlier this month, where they agreed to pursue mutually beneficial relations in their first face-to-face talks in a year.

They appeared to emphasise shared economic interests amid a series of diplomatic disputes that have plagued relations between the two countries, including Japan’s release of nuclear wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean and the detainment of a Japanese national in China.

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Kamikawa said she communicated Japan’s stance on these issues but also emphasised that Japan and China will be in close communication on the matters that divide them.

“We also discussed issues that the countries must work together on… and we were able to have a meaningful exchange of views on climate change, international insurance, development finance, as well as the North Korea situation,” she said, without elaborating.

Kamikawa and Wang will attend trilateral talks with their South Korean counterpart Park Jin on Sunday.

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