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International relations

Japan has no plan for phone call with Taiwan leader: spokesman

China sought explanation after suggestion by former prime minister

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen: A former Japanese prime minister had suggested that a phone meeting between her and new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga was a possibility.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan has "no plans, nor is making any preparations" for a phone call between new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters Wednesday.

On Saturday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked Japan to explain comments made a day earlier by former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori during a meeting with Tsai, suggesting that Suga would talk with the president by phone if the opportunity arose.

Mori visited Taiwan to attend the funeral for former President Lee Teng-hui. The former prime minister said he was there as a stand-in for Suga. Mori also went to Taiwan on Aug. 9 to express condolences on behalf of then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after the death of Lee on July 30.

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