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2008年10月25日 (土)


The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 25, 2008)

Japan, China must cooperate over crisis

日中首脳会談 金融危機も「互恵」で対処を(1025日付・読売社説)

In tackling the global financial crisis and attempting to resolve bilateral problems, Japan and China must cooperate swiftly and visibly for their mutual benefit.


Prime Minister Taro Aso, who is in China to attend a meeting of the Asia-Europe Meeting, held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao for the first time since he assumed the premiership.


In salutatory remarks he made at a subsequent reception to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the conclusion of the bilateral peace and amity treaty, Aso said: "We shouldn't allow ourselves to be constrained in the name of the 'Japan-China friendship.' Rather, sound competition and active cooperation will constitute a true 'mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.'"


Japan-China relations were positive under the administrations of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda. Aso made clear that his Cabinet will continue to pursue a strategic relationship of mutual benefit.


In their meetings, the Japanese and Chinese leaders discussed the global financial crisis and agreed to strengthen the existing currency swap scheme to better prepare for the possibility of a currency crisis occurring in Asia, among other matters.


This requires both nations to coordinate their policies from the viewpoint of pursuing shared interests to demonstrate to the world their determination to help stabilize the global financial system.



Resolve pending problems

To strengthen the bilateral relationship to the benefit of both sides, pending problems between the two countries need to be resolved quickly.


According to the results of various opinion polls, Japanese people's sentiment toward China has been deteriorating, fueled by distrust of products made in China in the wake of the food-poisoning cases caused by frozen gyoza dumplings and contamination of baby formula with the industrial chemical melamine, to name just two product safety incidents involving China.


The frozen gyoza poisoning case is still unresolved. A similar poisoning case involving gyoza took place in China. The most important thing for the Chinese side to do is find out whether the domestic case is connected to the Japanese case and get to the bottom of the matter.


On the issue of development of gas fields in the East China Sea, dubbed a touchstone for establishing a strategic relationship of mutual benefit, a political agreement was reached in June, but no talks have so far been held toward implementing its conclusions.


To demonstrate to the people of both countries the bilateral benefits that can be obtained through joint development, the Chinese side needs to accept Japan's call for such an approach and start negotiations on it immediately.



3-way summit meaningful

Aso also met with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, and the two confirmed their intention to strengthen their nations' cooperation on the issues of North Korea's nuclear program and its past abduction of Japanese, as well as measures to deal with the financial crisis.


In this way, Aso is trying to repair the bilateral relationship, which chilled after the Education, Science and Technology Ministry included the issue of the Takeshima islets in the instruction manual for the new teaching guidelines for middle school social studies classes.


It is now likely that a three-way summit among Japan, China and South Korea will be held within the year in this country. In that sense, cooperation among the three countries over issues of global urgency will have further importance.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Oct. 25, 2008)

200810250154  読売新聞)


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