Photo/Illutration Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks at a news conference on Nov. 11. (Amane Sugawara)

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, asked him to visit China, a country increasingly under global scrutiny over its human rights record.

“Nothing has been decided at this point,” Hayashi said about the invitation on a TV program aired by Fuji Television Network Inc. on Nov. 21.

Hayashi said Wang extended the invitation during their Nov. 18 phone talks, in which Hayashi expressed Japan’s concerns over China’s maritime advances.

Although Hayashi declined to comment on whether he will accept the invitation, he said that he and Wang confirmed that the two countries will work together to build “constructive and stable Japan-China relations” since next year will mark the 50th anniversary of normalized bilateral ties.

U.S. President Joe Biden recently said he is considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February over China’s human rights violations.

Hayashi said Japan will decide its course of action over the matter on its own.