Japan PM Kishida heads for US to attend APEC, planning to meet with China leader

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will leave for the United States on Wednesday to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco. He is also planning to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the gathering.

The summit will feature a theme of "Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All."

Kishida plans to stress the need for energy transition to realize a carbon-neutral society as well as the importance of promoting fair and transparent trade and investment.

He is also expected to raise awareness of the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on the global economy and to call for participating countries to cooperate in improving the situation.

The prime minister is making final arrangements to hold talks with the Chinese president as early as Thursday. If the two leaders meet for talks, it will be their first in about a year.

Kishida intends to convey Japan's views on pending bilateral issues, such as China's suspension of Japanese seafood imports following the release of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.

Water accumulated at the plant is treated to remove most radioactive substances, but still contains tritium.

Before the treated water is released into the sea, it is diluted to reduce tritium to about one-seventh of the guidance level set by the World Health Organization for drinking water.

He also plans to express Tokyo's position on the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains they are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.

Other matters of concern Kishida will likely bring up include the detention of Japanese citizens by Chinese authorities.

At the same time, Kishida hopes to confirm that Japan and China will cooperate on shared challenges and maintain communication in a future-oriented manner, with a view to building a constructive and stable bilateral relationship.