Japan, China Agree to Expand Defense Exchanges

Politics

Singapore, June 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed Saturday that the two countries will expand high-level defense exchanges between them.

As part of the agreement, the two sides will consider arranging a visit to China by Iwaya at an early date this year. If realized, he will be the first Japanese defense minister to set foot in China since March 2009.

After his talks with Wei in Singapore, Iwaya told reporters that Japan-China relations got back on the right track through leaders' mutual visits to each other's country last year.

Saturday's talks were "very meaningful in the sense of trying to build mutual confidence," he said.

Iwaya and Wei also agreed to consider port calls in Japan by Chinese destroyers and mutual visits by chiefs of staff at the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press