Tokyo, April 20 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will visit Britain and three East European countries–Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Poland–during the spring holiday period in Japan from later this month, it was learned Tuesday.
During the trip, Motegi is set to attend a Group of Seven foreign ministers’ meeting in Britain in early May. He is expected to leave Japan on April 29 and return home on May 8.
With a sense of vigilance toward China growing in Europe over crackdowns in Hong Kong and alleged human rights abuse in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, Motegi will seek to deepen Japan’s ties with European countries that shares with Tokyo basic values including democracy and the rule of law, informed sources said.
Slovenia will hold the European Union presidency in the latter half of this year. On Monday, the EU adopted its first comprehensive Asia-Pacific strategy, which calls for stepping up its involvement in the Asia-Pacific region.
Welcoming the EU move, Japan aims to further strengthen its economic and security ties with the EU.
In Poland, Motegi plans to hold a meeting with his counterparts from the so-called Visegrad Four, or V4, nations–Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
China is increasing its influence in East Europe, including the V4 countries, through infrastructure investment and other initiatives, as the region is a gateway to the China-envisioned “Belt and Road” economic zone.
To counter the Chinese move, Japan is also promoting economic support for the region.