Japan, China leaders reconfirm promotion of strategic relationship

The leaders of Japan and China have reconfirmed their stance of promoting a mutually beneficial strategic relationship and maintaining communications for a new era of bilateral ties.

Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for about one hour in San Francisco on Thursday. They held face-to-face talks for the first time since November last year.

Xi said that peaceful coexistence, friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development are the right direction that is in line with the interests of the peoples of China and Japan. He said both countries should understand the general trend of history and the times to manage differences in opinions appropriately.

Kishida said the international community faces a historic turning point in which partnership and discord are complexly entwined. He said Japan and China have responsibilities to contribute to global peace and prosperity as leaders of the region and the international community.

The two leaders reconfirmed the importance of maintaining the principles of the four political documents that the two countries have exchanged in the past.

Kishida and Xi agreed that the two countries will maintain close communications at all levels, including the leadership, to build a constructive and stable bilateral relationship.

They agreed to hold high-level economic talks at an appropriate time on the green economy, medical care and caregiving.

Kishida also conveyed Japan's concern over China's maritime activities in the East China Sea, including areas near the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.

He requested the immediate removal of a Chinese buoy that has been placed in Japan's exclusive economic zone near the islands. Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.

Kishida also asked for the release of Japanese nationals detained in China over alleged spying activities.

The prime minister requested China to promptly resume Japanese seafood imports. China suspended the imports after Japan started releasing treated and diluted water into the ocean from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Water used to cool molten fuel has been mixing with rain and groundwater. The accumulated water is being treated to remove most radioactive substances, but it still contains tritium.

Before releasing the water into the ocean, the plant's operator dilutes it to reduce tritium levels to about one-seventh of the World Health Organization's guidance level for drinking water.