Top leaders of Japan, China affirm closer ties in first talks

(VOVWORLD) - Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping in their first talks to pursue high-levels talks to boost regional and international stability. 

The talks came amid heightened tension between China and the United States, Japan's principal security ally, and a simmering territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing over a group of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.

Mr. Suga, who took office last week, said to reporters he told Xi over the phone that stable relations between Japan and China are extremely important not only for both countries but for the region and the international community.

President Xi expressed his desire to advance bilateral relations, Mr. Suga told reporters outside of his official residence, adding that they did not discuss plans for the Chinese president to visit Japan as a state guest. The trip had been planned for spring this year but was postponed indefinitely due to the global coronavirus pandemic.