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Report: Japan's Shinzo Abe under pressure for China summit

Report: Japan's Shinzo Abe under pressure for China summit
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) is expected to hold a summit in Japan with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the spring. File Photo by Ma Zhancheng/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Opposition is growing in Japan against Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is expected to hold a rare summit in Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the spring, the first visit by a Chinese president in nine years.

Amid allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, in addition to disputes in the East China Sea, Japanese politicians could be placing pressure on Abe to not hold the summit.

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Abe responded to the issue of the planned China-Japan summit on Tuesday, the Sankei Shimbun reported.

In his remarks to a Tokyo parliamentary budget committee, Abe said his meeting in the spring with Xi is necessary.

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Abe said he had raised with Xi the issue of Chinese claims near the disputed Senkaku Islands, the detention of Uighurs in Xinjiang and the "situation in Hong Kong." The two countries must develop the discussion further, he said.

"Both countries are responsible for world peace and stability," Abe said. "I will make an opportunity for Xi to express his willingness to fulfill that responsibility."

Japan's conservatives have been disapproving of Xi's potential visit, citing the presence of Chinese ships near the Senkakus, which Japan has claimed as sovereign territory.

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Xi could be postponing his Japan summit in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Sankei reported.

The pandemic could peak in February even as health professionals in the world's second-biggest economy try to contain the disease that they say spreads faster than severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in 2003, according to the report.

Chinese disease experts who spoke to the Japanese newspaper said the situation in China is likely to not stabilize until early March.

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Beijing is also scheduled to hold a meeting of its largely ceremonial National People's Congress on March 5, a possible source of pressure for Xi.

In China, social media posts indicate people outside Wuhan and Hubei Province are openly discriminating against the people of the central Chinese city and the province at the center of the pandemic.

Social media posts include unverified images of Chinese villagers brandishing rifles to warn people from Wuhan from entering their area. Hong Kong-based Apple Daily published the posts on Monday.

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