By Makiko Takita
VLADIVOSTOK — The following is the gist of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remarks to reporters after his summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sept. 12:
Q: What kind of conversation did you have with Xi?
Abe: I think we were able to have a candid exchange of opinions in a very relaxed atmosphere. Japan and China are neighbors that have created eternal history together and our relationship is inextricable. I think the fact that the world’s second- and third-largest economies are promoting a cooperative relationship and forming a deeper partnership for the peace and prosperity of the world shows that we have a common view that we share the responsibility for that. Under such a situation, we once again confirmed our shared view that Japan and China will deepen their friendship and cooperative relationship. We were also able to exchange views about various global issues in addition to regional issues.
As for North Korean issues, achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula is our common objective, so we agreed to closely cooperate. Japan’s policy of normalizing diplomatic relations based on the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration remains unchanged. Based on that assumption, I was able to obtain China’s full support for our stance toward the early resolution of the abduction issue.
Since we launched the new Japan-China relationship when we held a summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang last November, the relationship has been improving steadily. We have not only held our first telephone summit meeting but also significantly improved the bilateral relationship in many aspects, including politics and economy.
Xi said he would welcome a visit to China by me as early as next month to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty as we have been building a relationship of trust. We also agreed to make arrangements for my visit to China.
Bilateral relations are gradually moving to a new stage as a result of reciprocal visits by Japanese and Chinese leaders. We want to construct a foundation for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia by pushing forward to a new stage.