Press Releases

Japan-China Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk

February 3, 2023

On February 2, commencing at 10 p.m., Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a telephone talk with H.E. Mr. Qin Gang, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, for approximately 50 minutes. The overview of the talk is as follows.

  1. At the outset, Minister Qin Gang introduced himself and Minister Hayashi congratulated Minister Qin for assuming the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Qin expressed his gratitude for the Japanese search and rescue activities regarding the Hong Kong-registered cargo vessel which sank off the west coast of the Danjo Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture in late January. Minister Hayashi stated that he would like to cooperate with Minister Qin in order to realize the broad direction of building a “constructive and stable relationship,” which was an important shared recognition between the two leaders. Minister Qin expressed the same view.
  2. Minister Hayashi stated that Japan-China relations face many challenges and concerns, and that public opinion in Japan toward China is extremely severe. Minister Hayashi again expressed serious concerns regarding the East China Sea including the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands, China’s increasingly active military activities near Japan including its coordination with Russia, and the situations in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and others. Minister Hayashi also expressed the importance of the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. In addition, Minister Hayashi again made requests based on Japan’s positions regarding cases including the detention of Japanese nationals in China. Furthermore, Minister Hayashi strongly called for the prompt lifting of import restrictions on Japanese food products.
  3. Minister Hayashi stressed the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation in areas such as the green economy and medical care, nursing care, and healthcare as well as the importance of people-to-people exchanges including by the youth who will lead the future of Japan and China, over which the leaders of the two countries shared their views at the Japan-China Summit Meeting in November 2022. To that end, Minister Hayashi stated that it is important to ensure a transparent, predictable, and fair business environment and secure legitimate economic activities of Japanese companies, and once again strongly requested that China take appropriate measures.
  4. The two ministers exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine, and confirmed continued close cooperation on the response to North Korea, including the immediate resolution of the abductions issue. The ministers also confirmed to strengthen communication in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as Japan is a non-permanent member of the UNSC from this year. Furthermore, while expressing the importance of China making positive contributions to the international community under established international rules, the ministers confirmed that Japan and China will take action as responsible major powers regarding international issues such as climate change and development finance.
  5. The two ministers concurred on continuing close communication at all levels, including at the summit level.

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