Chinese minister to attend UN conference in Japan

Chinese minister to attend UN conference in Japan
File photo of Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 sailing near Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China in the East China Sea

TOKYO - China's civil affairs minister will attend a United Nations-sponsored meeting on disaster risks in Japan next month, making him the first minister from Beijing to visit Japan in three years.

Li Liguo, who also is in charge of disaster relief in China, will attend the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction set for March 14-18 in Sendai. He also could appear at related events and meet separately with the Japanese minister for disaster management, Eriko Yamatani.

Chinese Culture Minister Cai Wu visited Japan in April 2012.

Top government leaders from roughly 20 countries and foreign ministers from about 10 nations will be at the conference, along with ministers in charge of disaster prevention and management sent by 50 to 60 countries.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida will attend. "I've been pushing for high-level officials to be there, since this is an important conference," Kishida said.

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