Japanese officials say Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to build a stable and constructive relationship, but reached only a vague agreement on easing the dispute over the Chinese ban on Japanese seafood.
Kishida told reporters after a 65-minute meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco that they agreed to “find ways to resolve the dispute through meetings and a dialogue in a constructive manner.
He said they would convene a meeting of scientific experts, but gave no details and told reporters later Tuesday that the timing of a possible lifting of the ban was “unpredictable.”
Japan says the wastewater is much safer than international standards and that the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that the environmental and health impact of discharging it is negligible. China calls this release “water contaminated by nuclear weapons.”
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV also said China and Japan had agreed to find a way to resolve the Fukushima water problem through consultations and negotiations. Xi, calling the dump a global marine health and environment problem, told Kishida that Japan should take domestic and international concerns seriously and handle them responsibly and constructively, CCTV said in an online report.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning, speaking in Beijing on Friday, said all countries have the right to ensure food safety and protect public health.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno hailed the talks as “extremely meaningful” because Kishida and Xi “confirmed their common goal of building constructive and stable relations between Japan and China from a broader perspective.” .
But a series of disputes dominated the negotiations. Kishida asked Xi to remove all marker buoys that Beijing has placed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea, and to quickly release a Japanese businessman who was officially arrested in October for espionage allegations.
Kishida said he had expressed “serious concerns” about China’s increased military activity around Japan, including joint exercises with Russia. He stressed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, where China regularly sends military ships and aircraft to threaten Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory.
Kishida also held talks on the sidelines of APEC with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. They also attended a roundtable with technology startups and participated in an event at Stanford University to discuss possible investment and development cooperation in the areas of semiconductors, quantum, of AI and other technologies – another initiative highlighting the deepening ties between the two countries.
Kishida said he has high expectations for tripartite cooperation with the United States and South Korea in this region. He said that one nation cannot achieve innovation and supply chain resilience alone and that he can imagine “a future of our cooperation” between the three countries.
Yoon said at the Stanford event that innovation knows no borders and that South Korea supports promising startups “regardless of their nationality or where they are based.”
“As the competitiveness of startups in South Korea and Japan is excellent, we can create great synergies by expanding cooperation between the countries,” Yoon said, promising that the two countries will jointly support the innovations of younger generations.
Kishida also met briefly with Biden and discussed the Middle East, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, China and North Korea, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. The three leaders also held a separate meeting together.
Yoon’s office said the three leaders discussed security and economic cooperation for about 10 minutes. Biden expressed gratitude to Yoon and Kishida for “easing his burden in carrying out his duties as president of the United States,” Yoon’s deputy national security director Kim Tae-hyo told South reporters -Korean.
Japan and South Korea, which share security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region, quickly repaired and strengthened their long-strained ties over historical issues related to Japanese colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula, strengthening the three-way security relationship with the United States. .
During their meeting, Kishida and Yoon expressed satisfaction with “positive trends in bilateral relations” and the expansion of government consultations on diplomacy, security and the economy, Yoon’s office said.
Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.