(Yomiuri: April 23, 2015 – Top play)
By Michitaka Kaiya, Masahiko Takegoshi in Jakarta
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time in approximately five months in the late afternoon of April 22 (evening of April 22 in Japan) on the sidelines of the summit meeting marking the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia. The two leaders agreed to work for improvement in bilateral relations.
The bilateral summit was held at the venue of the Bandung Conference summit for about 25 minutes. Abe and Xi agreed to promote government level dialogue and private sector exchanges in order to improve bilateral ties. They also discussed the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and interpretation of history.
At the beginning of the summit meeting, Xi welcomed the fact that “the China-Japan relationship has improved to a certain extent through joint efforts by the people of both countries.” Abe also expressed appreciation that “the bilateral relationship is improving after the summit meeting last November.” They agreed to promote a mutually beneficial strategic relationship and to contribute to stability and prosperity in the region and the world.
Xi added: “China is calling for the promotion of the “One Belt, One Road” [“Silk Road Economic Belt” and “Maritime Silk Road”] initiative and the founding of the AIIB, and this has been welcomed by many countries. We were surprised by the extent of support for the AIIB framework. I am confident that Prime Minister Abe will also come to such an understanding.”
In relation to interpretation of history, Xi stated: “Mutual understanding is only possible by facing history squarely.” He also said: “We have no intention to criticize present-day Japan on the anniversary of the victory in the war of resistance against Japan on Sept. 3.” He invited Abe to the commemorative events. (Slightly abridged)