Abe Stands Ground over Xi's State Visit Invitation


Chengdu, China, Dec. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday doubled down on his decision to invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to pay a state visit to Japan next spring, despite domestic criticism of the trip.

Abe waved away critics who called on the prime minister to review the invitation, during a press conference in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, where he, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for trilateral talks.

"Both Japan and China have great responsibility for the peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world," Abe said. "I wish to use President Xi's state visit as an opportunity to express our commitment to fulfilling that responsibility."

Critics say the invitation should be revoked over repeated intrusions by Chinese coast guard ships into Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and Beijing's response to protests in Hong Kong.

"It's especially because there are issues that we must continue dialogue," Abe said. "I hope to build a mature Japan-China relationship for a new era, which can meet the expectations of the international community, through constant exchanges."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press