Abe first Japanese PM to visit China since 2011

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/24 23:43:41

China, Japan should open new ties blueprint

Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses a plenary session of the lower house, delivering his policy speech as the Diet convenes an extraordinary session in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: VCG

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Thursday, the first official visit by a Japanese prime minister in seven years, which analysts said is an opportunity to improve China-Japan relations.

Hua Chunying, a spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a routine press briefing on Wednesday that China and Japan are partners and do not pose a threat to each other.

The two sides should inherit the past and usher in the future, continue to open up, consolidate the political and legal basis of China-Japan relations, confirm the important consensus as partners, and open up a new blueprint for the development of bilateral relations, Hua said.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. It is also the 10th anniversary of the "China-Japan Joint Statement on All-round Promotion of the Strategic Relationship of Mutual Benefit." 

Abe said in an interview with Chinese media published on Wednesday that China's economic development is a huge opportunity and shall be welcomed by Japan and the world.

During his visit, Abe hopes to have frank exchanges with Chinese leaders on regional and world issues to expand cooperation in all areas and facilitate the greater development of bilateral ties, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Chinese analysts said China and Japan have experienced ups and downs since the normalization of diplomatic relations more than 40 years ago. They said Abe's upcoming official visit to China is an opportunity to free China-Japan relations from the past nightmare cycle.

"Maintaining a stable and sound development should be the direction of cooperation between the two countries," Ma Xiaolin, a professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times.

As the world's second and third largest economies, China and Japan are expected to reshape their relationship systematically and comprehensively, and establish a future-oriented cooperation framework in the Asia-Pacific region, Ma said.

However, Wang Shaopu, a scholar of Japanese Studies at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, pointed out that "conflict between the two countries will remain, especially in the area of security."

Wang told the Global Times on Wednesday that Japan should adhere to the four political documents signed by the two sides to realize the comprehensive improvement in bilateral ties.

Analysts stressed that issues left by history will not be immediately resolved, but they should not be a hinder to the future development of bilateral ties.

Combining strengths

During Abe's visit, the two sides will hold the First China-Japan Third-Market Cooperation Forum and explore how to improve cooperation in such areas as high and new technology and finance, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday's routine press briefing. 

Analysts noted that third market cooperation will combine China's competitive advantages in price and efficiency with Japan's engineering and management prowess.

The bilateral trade jumped to $300 billion in 2017, a greater than 10 percent increase from the previous year. The number of Chinese mainland tourists to Japan reached 7.3 million, an annual increase of 15 percent, Xinhua reported.

Hua said on Wednesday that China and Japan should be duty-bound, strengthen communication and cooperation, and jointly safeguard international rules and order.

Japan has rich experience in dealing with issues such as environmental pollution and an aging population, which can serve as a reference for China's further reform and opening-up, Abe said in the interview published on Wednesday. 

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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