One of China's top military officials has canceled a planned visit to Japan, citing pressing duties at home, Japanese government sources said.
Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, was scheduled to arrive May 24 to meet with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka.
Guo was set to hold talks with Tanaka and other officials about setting up a framework of mutual communication to help prevent maritime conflicts between the two nations.
The visit has not been rescheduled, the sources said.
The cancellation may have to do with Beijing's anger over Japan's decision to allow a general assembly of the World Uighur Congress--a group of exiled Uighurs--to be held in Tokyo on May 14-17, and Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara's April 16 remark that his metropolitan government would purchase three of the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
On May 17, Tanaka met Cheng Yonghua, China's ambassador to Japan, and confirmed that both sides would keep in touch with regard to Guo's visit to Japan.
Late last week, however, Beijing told Tokyo that Guo would not be making the trip due to official duties at home.
Guo ranks higher than Defense Minister Liang Guanglie, another uniformed officer, in the hierarchy of China's leadership.
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