Improved China, Japan ties could benefit regional peace: MOFA

28 October, 2018, 14:52 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Shinzo Abe's visit this week will be the first formal one by a Japanese prime minister in seven years

When asked whether that included China's crackdown on rights lawyers or its arbitrary detention of perhaps as many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang, Abe's spokesman Osuga declined to comment.

"These interactions will help to further strengthen our trade and investment ties, and cooperation in new areas such as healthcare, digital technologies, agriculture and food processing, disaster risk reduction and disaster resilient infrastructure".

Other topics would touch on how to immediately reached the conclusion to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement, a trade deal which would also involve 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific.

While anxious about China's growing naval power, Japan is also keen for closer economic ties with its biggest trading partner, but it must manage that rapprochement without upsetting its key security ally, the US. Just $5 a month.

Nishimura said Abe told Premier Li during their meeting that there would be "no genuine improvement" in bilateral ties unless there was "stability in the East China Sea".

Japan this year terminated four decades of government assistance to China, considered by some as a type of reparations for the damage caused during its invasion and occupation.

China and Japan, the second and third largest economies in the world, are bitter rivals.

During his meeting with Li, Abe trumpeted a new stage in the bilateral partnership.

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"From competition to co-existence, Japan and China bilateral relations have entered a new phase".

How do China and Japan get along?

"We will not become a threat of [sic] each other". Tokyo and Beijing will set the upper limit on currency swaps, which the two countries will reintroduce after a five-year hiatus, at around 3 trillion yen. Now negotiating a Japan-US free trade deal, Abe does not want to be boxed into a US veto on any future Japan-China trade deal, as Mexico and Canada have been in NAFTA renegotiations.

Tase Yasuhiro, political analyst and Nikkei columnist, said that trade protectionism would also hurt Japan, and it's vital for Japan to enhance cooperation with China to promote free trade. These were the same trade negotiations highlighted during the trilateral summit that Abe hosted in Tokyo in May.

Modi will pay a two-day visit to Japan from October 28-29 to hold the annual India-Japan summit with Abe, the focus of which will be to boost cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, carry out joint infrastructure projects in third countries and enhancing defence ties, including launch of talks for a logistic support pact between the two navies. "Whenever they feel the need to take it out, I'm sure they will do that".

"(Japan) is determined to settle the abduction, nuclear and missile issues as well as the unhappy past and normalize diplomatic relations (with Pyongyang)", Prime Minister Abe said.

But relations between both soured in 2012 over a territorial dispute over several tiny Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea.

Xi also called for Japan to "keep its promise" and to act according to the four documents signed by the two countries over 40 years ago when they established formal ties. His key policy speech came the day before he makes the first trip to Beijing by a Japanese leader in seven years.

One notable area of tension was in the area of human rights.

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