Japan's foreign minister aims to improve Japan-China relations

Japan's Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa has expressed his intention to improve Japan-China relations. He said building constructive and stable bilateral ties is a mission taken over from predecessors as a responsibility to descendants.

Hayashi made the remark in a video message at a symposium held on Monday. The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, and China's embassy in Tokyo held the event ahead of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties on September 29.

Hayashi said Japan-China relations have made great progress over the past 50 years. He said bilateral trade has increased about 120-fold over the period and human exchanges surpassed 12 million before the spread of coronavirus.

Chinse Foreign Minister Wang Yi also addressed the symposium with a video message.

He said the leaders of the two countries turned a new page 50 years ago by overcoming hurdles with political courage and wisdom and deciding to normalize the ties.

He called for opening a future path toward happiness for the two countries and for working toward peace and development.

He also said fundamental issues related to Japan and China -- such as Taiwan -- "should not be vague."

Former Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo delivered a keynote speech at the symposium in Tokyo.

He said distrust between China and Japan has apparently been deepening. He said it is very important in such a situation to deepen mutual understanding through dialogue.