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Wang Yi Speaks by Phone with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi
2020-04-21

On 21 April, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi on the phone.

Wang noted that as close neighbors, China and Japan have helped each other in times of difficulty. China is following closely the COVID-19 situation in Japan. He again extended sympathies to the Japanese people, and expressed confidence that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan will get the situation under control and secure an early victory against the virus.

Wang said that the most difficult part of China's fierce struggle is over and the spread of the virus has been by and large stopped. Nevertheless, given the risks of importation and resurgence, this is not the time to slacken or lower guard. While keeping the containment measures in place, China is trying to restart work and production faster to make up for the loss caused by COVID-19.

Wang noted that the Chinese and Japanese people have stood in solidarity during the fight against COVID-19 and left touching stories of friendship, which can be summed up by an ancient verse that reads, "Though we live in different lands, the same moon and sky make us one." It demonstrates the strong popular support for China-Japan friendship and the cultural affinity between the two countries. It also reflects the good momentum of an ever-growing bilateral relationship. It is important for both sides to cherish the reservoir of friendship built up during this joint fight and take bilateral cooperation to still higher levels.

Wang expressed China's readiness to extend a helping hand despite its domestic strain and difficulties. China will continue to help Japan wherever it is needed and facilitate Japan's purchase of medical supplies from China.

Wang also underscored the imperative for both sides to speedily follow through on the important consensus reached at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 to promote cooperation among East Asian countries.

Wang underscored that viruses respect no borders and can only be defeated when countries pull together. Acting consistently in an open, transparent and responsible manner, China has provided timely updates to WHO and countries concerned, released the genome sequence of the virus, and shared experience without reservation. Attempts to blame and discredit China are anything but constructive. Compared with COVID-19, the "political virus" that breeds division and hatred is more damaging, something that all countries must watch out for.

Motegi commended China's achievements in battling the virus. He briefed Wang on the latest situation in Japan, thanked China for its assistance and support, and expected China to share more experience and facilitate Japan's purchase of medical supplies.

Motegi concurred that the priority for the international community is to stand in solidarity in face of the virus. As a friendly close neighbor, Japan will continue to work with China for closer regional and international cooperation, like implementing the outcomes of the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19 and supporting African countries with weak health systems.

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