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Japan's Foreign Minister Hayashi: China hand or too pro-Beijing?

Either way, new top diplomat will need to navigate tough realities

Like his father before him, Japan's new Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi serves as chairman of the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians' Union, a cross-party group that promotes good relations with Beijing.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's new Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will immediately be shoved into the driver's seat of a fast-moving car, tasked with avoiding the roadblocks and potholes looming ahead, mostly related to China.

Japan's Senkaku Islands, which China claims and calls the Diaoyus, lie just 170 km away from Taiwan. That is a five-minute flight for a Chinese jet fighter, and any contingency in Taiwan could quickly spill over into Japanese territory.

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