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Japan PM voices ‘serious concerns’ to Xi on Chinese military activity, Russia collaboration

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Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that he expressed to President Xi Jinping his “serious concerns” about Chinese military activity in the region while demanding that a ban on seafood imports be revoked.

“I… expressed our serious concerns over China’s increasing military activity near Japan, including its collaboration with Russia,” Kishida said after meeting Xi for the first time in a year.

“At the same time, I re-emphasised the extreme importance of the Taiwan Strait’s peace and stability to the international community including Japan,” Kishida told Japanese television channels after the talks in San Francisco on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

“On the East China Sea, I expressed once again our serious concerns and urged the immediate removal of (Chinese) buoys set up in Japan’s EEZ,” Kishida said, referring to the country’s exclusive economic zone.

He also said that he “strongly demanded a calm response based on scientific evidence and the immediate removal of restrictions on imports of Japanese food products.”

China banned all Japanese seafood imports after Japan began in August releasing treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, with Beijing accusing Tokyo of treating the sea like a “sewer”.

Russia later followed suit and also banned imports. Japan insists the discharge is safe, a view backed by the UN atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Kishida added, however, that he and Xi “agreed to seek solutions through dialogue and discussions based on constructive attitude.”

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