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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

China takes conciliatory approach with Japan in area of economy as well

  • September 13, 2018
  • , Mainichi , p. 6
  • JMH Translation

A delegation from the Japan-China Economic Association met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept. 12. Japan-China ties are improving, as witnessed by the decision for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to visit China in October. At the meeting, China demonstrated a conciliatory approach in the field of the economy as well, and the leaders gathered agreed to accelerate their nations’ bilateral economic partnership in third countries.  


The Japan-China Economic Association is composed of Japan’s top business leaders and others. It is chaired by Shoji Muneoka, who is also chairman of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation.


According to a source traveling with the delegation, Premier Li indicated he values Japan-China ties, saying at the meeting that “stable economic cooperation (between Japan and China) contributes to the stability of the world.” He pledged to further accelerate reform, including opening domestic markets, and called for Japanese companies to invest in China and enter its markets.


The Japanese and Chinese governments have agreed to partner primarily in infrastructure development in third countries, including other Asian nations, but the Japanese side has made it clear that certain criteria need to be set in selecting investment projects, including the fiscal soundness of the target nation and the economic viability of the project. At the talks, Li showed consideration for the Japanese side’s request, saying that “projects will be handled based on transparency and market principles.”


Regarding trade, Li commented that “Japan and China should strongly uphold free trade with the rise of protectionism,” but he reportedly made no direct reference to the protracted U.S.-China trade friction.


This is the second year in a row that Premier Li has met with the Japan-China Economic Association delegation. After the meeting Chairman Muneoka said his impression is that the pace of improvement in Japan-China ties has accelerated: “The stage has clearly changed. A situation that used to be clouded over is gradually clearing.”

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