National Security Secretariat Secretary General Shotaro Yachi will soon visit China to meet with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi (equivalent to vice prime minister), Yomiuri Shimbun learned on Feb. 22. Yachi will apparently discuss with Yang realizing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to China within the year and President Xi Jinping’s subsequent visit to Japan.
Yang, the highest ranking officer in charge of China’s diplomacy, conducted prior coordination with Yachi for past Japan-China summit meetings held in 2016 and 2017. The two will apparently meet in Beijing this weekend. They will apparently discuss scheduling a Japan-China summit meeting this spring and the issue of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.
With an eye on the 40th anniversary of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty this year, the two governments are seeking ways to improve bilateral relations. At the January bilateral foreign ministerial meeting held in Beijing, the two foreign ministers agreed to steadfastly move forward with Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to Japan for a trilateral summit meeting among Japan, China, and South Korea and reciprocal visits of the national leaders.