Japan Foreign Minister Hayashi says counterpart Wang Yi invited him to China

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said he was invited to visit China by his counterpart Wang Yi during talks held by phone last week.

Mr Hayashi told the Fuji TV show that no date was set for the potential trip raised in the call between the two officials on Nov 18.

The invitation comes as ties between Japan and its biggest trading partner become increasingly fraught over concerns about Beijing’s clampdown on Hong Kong and tensions around Taiwan.

Mutual visits by government officials from the two countries have also been largely on hiatus during the pandemic, and Mr Wang last visited Japan a year ago.

Mr Hayashi, who was appointed after last month’s general election, has been seen as relatively friendly towards China, having previously headed a lawmakers’ group promoting exchanges between the two countries.

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