China-Japan communication can push bilateral ties to new heights: spokesperson of Japan’s MOFA

By Xing Xiaojing Published: 2019/12/24 3:11:42

Photo: VCG

Friendly and constructive communication between China and Japan would promote improved bilateral relations, a spokesperson for Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said when asked whether offensive comments by Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono over China's activities in the South China Sea would have a negative impact on relations.

China and Japan should treat each other with sincerity, jointly perform their duties and contribute to regional and international stability and development, spokesperson Masato Otaka told the Global Times on Monday in response to questions about how to improve bilateral relations despite rumblings in Japan about China's internal affairs.

Otaka's response follows criticism in Japan about China's handling of its internal affairs including Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Hong Kong separatist Agnes Chow Ting reportedly spread rumors about the city's protests on Japanese TV in June, Hong Kong media reported.

According to Japanese media reports, the two countries have started discussions on signing a fifth political document, which would oversee bilateral relations in 2020, during an expected visit to Japan next spring by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A meeting between the top leaders of the two countries in Beijing on Monday didn't touch on the fifth document, Otaka said.

In an editorial on Monday, the Japan Times said that the meeting was an indication of an easing in long-term tensions between the two countries which have simmered over war history, territorial disputes and other issues.

China and Japan have signed four documents since the two countries achieved a normalization in diplomatic relations in 1972.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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