Japan will resolutely say what it needs to say: Foreign minister on ties with China

New top diplomat says China’s influence has increased, thus Beijing should fulfill expectations of int’l community.

ISTANBUL (AA) – Japan will resolutely put forward its viewpoint in engagement with China, the country’s new foreign minister said on Thursday.

“We need to resolutely assert what we need to say to China and we should ask China to take responsible actions and behavior,” Yoshimasa Hayashi, 60, told his maiden news conference as a foreign minister in Tokyo.

He said Japan will cooperate with China through dialogue in addressing common issues.

Hayashi, a Harvard University graduate, was picked as foreign minister on Wednesday after Japan’s parliament reelected Fumio Kishida as prime minister after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won general elections in the country last month.

Hayashi earlier led a cross-party parliamentary group promoting Japan-China friendship, a position he has decided to abandon “to avoid causing unnecessary misunderstanding.”

“We are seeing more serious challenges to universal values, which have sustained peace and the stability of the international community, and the international order,” Hayashi said.

China is the second-largest economic power in the world, said the minister, adding: “Therefore, its actions have increased influence in the international community.”

“It is important that China follows the rules of the international community and respond to the expectation of the international community,” said Hayashi, who also composes music and is a member of a band comprising lawmakers.


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