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Xi's visit to Japan to take place after Nov.: minister

In this Dec. 23, 2019 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands ahead of their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan, which was postponed from this spring due to the coronavirus outbreak, will take place after November, citing key diplomatic schedules, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Wednesday.

    On the timing of the visit, Motegi said on a television program, "The G-7 summit will certainly first take place," referring to the meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in September or later. He also said he sees the summit of the Group of 20 major economies slated for November as taking place first.

    Both Japan and China are part of the G-20, while the G-7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

    Xi would have been the first Chinese president received by Japan as a state guest in more than a decade and was due to meet with Emperor Naruhito and hold a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    Motegi underlined the importance of sufficiently preparing for the envisioned visit and ensuring it would bear fruit for both countries.

    Opposition to the visit by Japanese conservative lawmakers has been emerging, with those in Abe's ruling party urging the prime minister to consider canceling it, citing concerns over China's attempts to tighten its grip on Hong Kong.

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