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Japan's foreign minister hopes for improved ties with China

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on screen, speaks during the Tokyo-Beijing Forum on Oct. 25, 2021, held virtually amid COVID-19 worries. (Kyodo)

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday expressed hope that his country's relations with China will improve, as the two Asian powers mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic ties next year.

    In a message to an online forum attended by experts well versed in the two nations, Motegi said that Sino-Japanese relations "remain in a serious and difficult situation," given that the Asian countries have different values and rules.

    At the event, co-hosted by Japanese nonprofit think tank Genron NPO and the China International Publishing Group, Motegi also emphasized the necessity of people-to-people communication and dialogue to build a constructive and stable relationship.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, meanwhile, said in a video message to the forum that started Monday, mutual exchanges should be promoted in various fields between the two countries.

    But Wang warned that issues such as Taiwan are "serious and sensitive," apparently urging Japan not to interfere in what the Communist-led government claims are its internal affairs.

    The forum, which is scheduled to end Tuesday, has been held every year since 2005 as a public diplomacy platform and aims to facilitate communication despite difficulties in bilateral relations.

    The event took place online for the second consecutive year against a backdrop of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, first detected in China's central city of Wuhan in late 2019.

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