Abe eager for mutual visits with Xi next year

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his strong hope to realize mutual visits by the Japanese leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping next year.

“I hope to visit China at an appropriate time next year, and I also want President Xi to come to Japan at the earliest possible time,” Abe said at a meeting of Japanese and Chinese corporate executives in Tokyo on Monday.

“I aim to bring the Japan-China relationship to a new stage through mutual visits by high-level officials of the two nations,” Abe stressed.

On his Indo-Pacific strategy, Abe, also chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said that he wants to make regions along the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean open and free based on fair rules. “Under the strategy, Japan can fully cooperate with China,” which promotes its Belt and Road economic development initiative across Eurasia, he said.

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua told the meeting that the two countries can further accelerate work to improve and develop the bilateral ties by enhancing mutual trust and controlling the difference between their positions in a constructive manner.

In a related move, LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai said at a press conference on Monday that exchange events between senior members of the LDP and its ruling coalition partner, Komeito, and the Communist Party of China will be held in the southeastern China province of Fujian and Beijing late this month.

Nikai and Komeito Secretary-General Yoshihisa Inoue are considering visiting China for six days from Dec. 24.

Nikai said that the international community is concerned after North Korea’s test-firing of what it claims was a new intercontinental ballistic missile last week.Speech

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