Japan believes that it is important to build constructive and stable ties with China, the foreign ministry said on Thursday. As Japan Times reports, Tokyo is calling for responsible behaviour from its giant neighbour.
Japan’s ruling party LDP plans to review defence posture amid China’s military build-up, and it aims to increase defence spending sharply. Over the months, the ties between Japan and China have been plagued for years by a territorial dispute over a group of tiny East China Sea islets. Moreover, the legacy of Japan’s past military aggression remains an issue.
Staunch US ally Japan has recently been more outspoken on questioning China’s assertiveness on issues such as the disputed South China Sea and self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory.
Japan’s foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi stressed the importance of constructive, stable relations with China.
“Ties between Japan and China are increasingly important not just for our two countries, but for the peace and prosperity of the region and the international community,” Hayashi said during his first news conference Thursday.
The top Japanese diplomat added the two nations need to assert and ask for responsible behaviour while at the same time. Maintaining a dialogue and firmly cooperate on shared challenges is vital, Hayashi said but did not elaborate on what he meant by responsible behaviour. Meantime, a state visit by the Chinese President Xi was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 restrictions.