Japan has sounded out China about talks between Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang when the minister visits Beijing later this month, in the hope that the meeting with the country's No. 2 leader would advance bilateral ties, a government source said Thursday.

Beijing has yet to respond to Tokyo's request and is likely to make a final decision following the outcome of Kishida's talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on April 30, during which they may have heated debate on China's muscle-flexing in the South China Sea, the source said.

The Kishida-Wang talks will follow Beijing's strong reaction to a Group of Seven foreign ministers' statement issued earlier in the month that touched on high tensions in the South China Sea.