Most recently, ties have been tested by China’s ban on Japanese seafood following Tokyo’s decision to release treated water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea in August.
Kishida said he had strongly urged Xi to drop the ban and also sought the swift release of the businessman, which has dealt an outsized blow to their close economic ties.
Their meeting followed a highly-anticipated summit between US President Joe Biden and Xi in which the two superpowers agreed to open a presidential hotline and resume military-to-military communications, among other matters.
Kishida also met Biden at the summit where they discussed issues including “common challenges” that they share with China.
China’s push to reaffirm relations with Japan could be partly driven by Tokyo’s close ties with its arch-rival Washington, said Rumi Aoyama, an expert on Japan-China relations.
“I think there is a desire to drive a wedge between Japan and the United States by establishing a so-called strategic relationship with Japan amid the US-China confrontation,” said Aoyama, director of Waseda Institute of Contemporary Chinese Studies.
On the sidelines of the APEC summit, Kishida has also met South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in their seventh meeting this year. The pair promised to push for deeper cooperation and discussed shared concerns like North Korea’s missile tests.
Yoon, Kishida and Biden also held a brief trilateral meeting on Thursday.
Leaders from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum are in San Francisco for the 30th summit from Nov 15 to 17.
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