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‘China School’ Japanese ambassador expected to push forward new consulate in Wuhan

作者:admin 2020-11-25

‘China School’ Japanese ambassador expected to push forward new consulate in Wuhan

China-Japan Photo: VCG

The new Japanese Ambassador to China, Hideo Tarumi, who is one of the "China School" diplomats at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will enter the country this week via East China's Qingdao and undergo a two-week quarantine in Beijing amid the epidemic, the
Global Times has learned. 

According to a source who spoke exclusively to the Global Times, Tarumi will enter China through the coastal city as direct flights to Beijing have been suspended amid the pandemic. He will then stay in quarantine in the ambassador's residence.

The arrangement is one example of how China-Japan economic and personnel exchanges have been affected by the coronavirus. The outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province also highlighted the importance of setting up a consulate to serve Japanese nationals in Central China. 

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed with the Global Times on Tuesday that it is considering the establishment of a new consulate in Wuhan, and the matter is being pursued actively in the wake of the pandemic.

When Japan evacuated its nationals from Wuhan in January, it had to seek assistance from the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, which led to the suggestion of setting up a consulate in the city.

Setting up a consulate in Wuhan, if realized during Tarumi's term, would be a significant achievement of the diplomat, said Da Zhigang, director and research fellow of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences. The whole process, including purchasing property and dispatching diplomats, may take at least six months, according to Da. 

Tarumi comes from the Chinese language training program at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs known as the "China School", like his predecessor Yutaka Yokoi.

Japanese and Chinese diplomats and scholars reached by the Global Times described Tarumi as a leading "China school" expert in Japan. The diplomat is very familiar with affairs related to the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, and Taiwan.

Tarumi is very competent and China-Japanese relations are expected to reach a higher level during his tenure, analysts said. 

Despite challenges, the main theme of the bilateral relationship is cooperation, and the two countries have much common ground for cooperation, including frequent people-to-people exchanges, said Da, noting setting up a consulate in Wuhan will serve this need, and it is only one example of how the two countries have concrete areas in which to cooperate.

Da also mentioned trade ties between the two countries, which will be on the agenda of a visit to the close neighbor that started on Tuesday by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the first high-level interaction since the new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office. 

Wang arrived on Tuesday afternoon and met with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. He is also expected to meet with Suga on Wednesday, according to Japanese media reports. Bilateral communication is expected to cover topics such as pushing forward the China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Agreement after the RCEP and how to resume business travel, analysts said. 

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