Japan Visit To Boost Trade Ties, Cooperation In New Areas: PM Modi

Sean Reid
October 27, 2018

These steps, while paving the way for joint development projects, appear to fall short of a full embrace of Chinese President Xi Jinping's signature Belt and Road Initiative.

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Abe said the treaty marks the starting point for bilateral relationship between Japan and China.

He said India values Japan's global leadership in innovation, technologies and best practices and during his visit, he will have a chance to see some of Japan's high-tech capabilities in robotics.

On his part, Li said efforts in advancing China-Japan ties should "persevere unremittingly to prevent the appearance of new twists and turns" so that previous efforts did not go to waste.

Japan and China were also expected to agree to revive a currency swap arrangement that was dropped in 2013, and to jointly clamp down on market manipulation, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

The Nikkei reported that roughly 1,400 company representatives from both countries will also be in attendance to ink deals during the forum on Friday morning.

This is the first official visit to China by a sitting Japanese prime minister in seven years, other than to attend a multilateral meeting.

Some other users urged caution during Mr Abe's visit, accusing an "ambitious" Japan of being a two-faced neighbour. But these are much less prioritised than the United States risk.

The warming in relations is being driven by uncertainty emanating out of President Donald Trump's unpredictable policies towards allies and its increasingly hawkish policies on China. There were no immediate agreements on how to handle the territorial dispute, or the issue of gas resources around the disputed sea border between their exclusive economic zones.

Abe and Premier Li Keqiang also agreed that Japan and China would work together to achieve denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula. The islands are known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Chinese coast guard vessels continue to make regular incursions into Japanese waters around the islands.

As China rapidly modernizes its military, Japan remains wary of its strategic intent. In an apparent reference to the plight of the Uyghur minority, Abe told Li that Japan and the worldwide community were "paying close attention to the human rights situation in China", according to a Japanese government official who briefed reporters.

On October 18 he reported that after that Abe said in a conversation with him in Vladivostok that the peace treaty between Tokyo and Moscow can not be signed ahead of solving the territorial issue. Tourism, trade and investment dropped off and Japanese-brand vehicles and other products were vandalized or destroyed.

"The Trump administration's economic nationalism and trade protectionism are a leading driver to improved ties between Beijing and Tokyo", said Zhu Feng, an Asia expert at Nanjing University. "There are few in the younger generation who want to be friendly with China", he said in an interview, adding that his own party favoured linking up with Beijing when appropriate.

"China and Japan, as close neighbors with great converging interests, are major world economies and influential countries", Xi said.

Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Deputy Secretary-General Hsiesh Bor-huei (謝柏輝) has said the foreign ministry is paying close attention to Abe's visit.

"I believe active trade will deepen ties between Japanese and Chinese peoples further", he said.

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