Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Saturday agreed to step up preparations for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan expected for early April.
However, Motegi and Wang did not discuss an expected trip to Japan by Chinese foreign policy head Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, in February.
The two ministers met on the sidelines of the ongoing annual Munich Security Conference in the southern German city of Munich.
Wang conveyed to Motegi a very deep gratitude for Japanese assistance to China, hit hard by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, according to diplomatic sources.
Motegi said Japan will continue its assistance. He also expressed thanks for Chinese support for Japanese operations to evacuate nationals and their families from Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, aboard chartered flights.
In reply, Wang said the Chinese government will do all it can to ensure the safety and protect the health of Japanese nationals in China.
In a speech at a Munich Security Conference session the same day, Wang referred to Japan when expressing gratitude for assistance from around the world to his virus-hit country.
Japanese groups sent relief supplies with ancient Chinese poetic lines attached, conveying a “touching message” of empathy, he said.