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Suga, Xi agree on close cooperation

The Saturday editions of all national dailies reported on Prime Minister Suga’s first teleconference with Chinese leader Xi on Friday. Suga told reporters afterward that he and Xi agreed to work closely together on bilateral and global issues but did not discuss Xi’s postponed state visit to Japan. Suga reportedly expressed Japan’s concern over Chinese government ships’ repeated intrusions into Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands and China’s treatment of Hong Kong.


Yomiuri wrote that although the two nations confirmed continued efforts to improve their ties, it remains to be seen whether Xi’s trip to Japan will be realized because there is strong opposition within the ruling LDP to the idea of Japan hosting Xi and Tokyo is concerned that the international community is becoming increasingly critical of China’s oppression of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. The paper speculated that if Japan hosts Xi as a state guest, the move could affect Japan’s relations with the United States because Washington is increasing its pressure on Beijing over the South China Sea and other issues. Mainichi expressed a similar view, speculating that friction could arise between Japan and the United States and European nations if Japan takes too friendly an approach to China.

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