Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said on Saturday he would like to visit China and have talks with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan, Sputnik reported.
The 15th Asia Security Summit, or the Shangri-La Dialogue, is currently underway in Singapore, bringing together regional defense officials and Western military officials to discuss the pressing security issues.
“There are various issues, and dialogue is very important. I would like to visit your country [China],” Nakatani said at the security summit, while speaking to China’s delegation head, Adm. Sun Jianguo, as quoted by the Japanese Kyodo news agency.
He did not provide detail on the possible timing of the visit.
Relations between China and Japan have been strained by a dispute over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. The Japanese, who have claimed the islands since the 19th century, call them the Senkaku Islands, the name mostly recognized globally, while in China they are known as the Diaoyu Islands.
Earlier in the day, Nakatani said that he was “deeply concerned” over China’s construction of outposts used for military purposes in some of the disputed areas.