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The Nikkei View

Suga needs public's understanding to improve ties with China

Beijing fuels distrust with heavy hand at home and abroad

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, left, on Sept. 25 held his first telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office earlier that month.   © Kyodo

Stable ties with China are crucial for Japan, especially in the economic realm. But major challenges must be overcome before relations can be improved, and it will be essential for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to win the public's support in this effort. 

Suga on Sept. 25 held his first telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping since taking office on Sept. 16. Xi's planned state visit to Japan this spring was postponed over the novel coronavirus. And with the environment surrounding Sino-Japanese relations having changed dramatically in the nearly half a year since, the two leaders did not talk about a visit to Japan in their phone call. 

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