KEY POINTS

  • On Wednesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi got into a 70-minute video conference with Wang Yi
  • During the call, Japan urged China to play a responsible role in regard to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
  • In response, Wang warned Japan against joining forces with the U.S.

Nearly two-thirds of Japanese residents want their government to take a “strong stance” against China's intrusions into the waters controlled by Japan, which have been disputed. According to a new foreign ministry survey, which was conducted in March, many Japanese are in favor of Tokyo opting for strict actions.

The survey found that 61.6 percent of respondents wanted the country's government to adopt a posture on territorial issues like those surrounding the Diaoyu Islands, which the Japanese call the Senkakus. These islands located in the East China Sea are also claimed by China.

It also found that 57 percent of the 1,000 respondents surveyed urged China to “respect human rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”

On Wednesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi got into a 70-minute video conference with Wang Yi, his Chinese counterpart. During the call, Hayashi urged Beijing to play a responsible role in maintaining global peace and security. His request was aimed specifically at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Hayashi also spoke out about the ministry’s “grave concern” at repeated intrusions by Chinese coastguard vessels into waters near the disputed islands in the East China Sea. He mentioned also several issues that still need to be addressed if “constructive and stable relations” are to be achieved between the two countries, the South China Morning Post reported. There have been many reports this year of Chinese ships entering Japan’s territorial waters, including two vessels that attempted to approach a Japanese fishing boat earlier this month.

On Wednesday, two Chinese bombers flew between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island, the Defence Ministry said, adding that they are also observing the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning, which has been carrying out extensive exercises in the area since early May, according to local media reports.

In response, Wang warned Japan against joining forces with the U.S. after its recent comments on Taiwan. He said Japan should "eliminate interfering factors in a timely manner," especially regarding Taiwan.

"Japan's negative movements on Taiwan and other issues involving China's core interests and major concerns have become prominent recently," the minister said, referring to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent comments that "Japan and the U.S. could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan."

Japan urged China to play a 'responsible' role over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine Japan urged China to play a 'responsible' role over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan via AFP / Handout