• Jiji

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have a telephone conversation in the near future, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou said Friday.

The phone talk is being arranged, Kong told a news conference in Tokyo.

Xi was scheduled to visit Japan this spring as a state guest, but the trip was derailed by the coronavirus outbreak.

The difficulties facing Japan and China are temporary and bilateral relations on an upward trajectory, Kong said.

He expressed gratitude for the support the public and private sectors in Japan offered to China to help contain the virus, noting that the Chinese government is now considering similar measures to help Japan.

With Japan in the midst of a mask shortage, he said work is being done to ensure Chinese manufacturers can restore production capacity quickly and export their products to Japan.

Starting Saturday, China will ban entry by foreign travelers, including those with Chinese visas and residency permits.

While acknowledging the inconvenience the step will cause to Japanese businessmen, Kong said Japan and China are discussing how they can limit the step's impact on bilateral economic cooperation while ensuring public safety.

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