Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed Monday with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi China’s cooperation for making a success of a planned visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping next spring.
Referring to the tense situation in Hong Kong, Abe called on China to maintain a “free and open Hong Kong.”
“I would like to promote cooperation between Japan and China so that President Xi Jinping’s state visit will be a meaningful one, appropriate for the new era between Japan and China,” Abe said at the beginning of the meeting held in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Wang said, “After many twists and turns, Japan-China relations have entered a phase of improvement and development, and we must treasure this.”
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Abe pointed out to Wang at the meeting the importance of the prosperity of a free and open Hong Kong under one country, two systems. The Japanese government, however, has increased fears that “that’s not the way things are when looking at the current situation,” Suga told reporters last Tuesday. Wang is said to have explained China’s position to Japan.
As for Hong Kong’s district elections, Suga said at the press conference, while noting that he refrains from making any comment as the government: “Hong Kong is a vital partner for our country with close economic ties and people-to-people exchanges. We will continue to pay close attention to the situation.”