The government's top spokesman denied Thursday a suggestion by a former top Chinese official that Japan had proposed early reciprocal state visits by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Tang Jiaxuan, former Chinese foreign minister and now president of the China-Japan Friendship Association, mentioned the visits when he met Jiji Press President Yutaka Nishizawa in Beijing on Wednesday, according to Jiji Press.

Tang was quoted as saying that the proposal was made when Shotaro Yachi, head of the secretariat of Japan's National Security Council, met Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi in Tokyo on Oct. 13.