Avoid­ing cri­sis

China, Ja­pan need to con­trol neg­a­tive is­sues

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAIHONG in Tokyo caihong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and Ja­pan need to con­trol the neg­a­tive is­sues that may spi­ral into cri­sis, said Chi­nese and Ja­panese schol­ars, journalists and politi­cians in Tokyo on Tues­day.

In a speech at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 12th Bei­jingTang Ji­ax­uan, pres­i­dent of the Chi­naJa­pan Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion, rec­om­mended that the two coun­tries man­age their dif­fer­ences well and pre­vent new prob­lems from aris­ing in the re­la­tions.

Ja­pan has in­ter­fered in the South China Sea, which China takes as an at­tempt to cre­ate a new is­sue in the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

Tang said the ties, which have been dis­turbed by var­i­ous is­sues, have not com­pletely re­turned to a nor­mal track. “The un­healthy state holds up the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Ja­pan, slows the progress of in­te­gra­tion in East Asia, and has an im­pact on peace and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion.”

Ja­pan’s for­mer prime min­is­ter Ya­suo Fukuda said China and Ja­pan need to cre­ate a “quiet” en­vi­ron­ment to let their peo­ple make calm judg­ments.

“The two coun­tries should not pro­voke each other. Co­op­er­a­tion and ex­change can help cre­ate friendly sen­ti­ment be­tween the two peo­ples,” he said.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, while meet­ing with Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe on the side­lines of the G20 Sum­mit in Hangzhou on Sept 5, said bi­lat­eral re­la­tions have en­tered a key phase in which no progress means re­gres­sion.

China val­ues its ties with the Asian neigh­bor and hopes to move the re­la­tions for­ward, Tang said.

A re­cent opin­ion poll jointly con­ducted by theChina In­ter­na­tional Pub­lish­ing Group and Ja­pan’s think tank Gen­ron NPO found that a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in the two coun­tries have a neg­a­tive im­pres­sion of the other’s na­tion.

Jiang Jian­guo, min­is­ter of the State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice, said the sen­ti­ments be­tween the two peo­ples should merit at­ten­tion.

Jiang said he was im­pressed by Chi­nese and Ja­panese me­dia’s cov­er­age of the other coun­try’s ath­letes at the Rio Olympics in Au­gust.

Ja­panese Olympian Ai Fukuhara, who lost the ta­ble tennis semi­fi­nal to Chi­nese ri­val Li Xiaoxia, be­came a me­dia dar­ling in China. Also, the gold medal per­for­mance of Chi­nese women’s na­tional vol­ley­ball team in Rio was widely cov­ered by Ja­pan’s me­dia.

The State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice will be­gin invit­ing 80 young Ja­panese journalists to China each year, Jiang said. It has sent young Chi­nese journalists to visit Ja­pan each year since 2010.

Ja­panese For­eign Min­is­ter Fu­mio Kishida said the two coun­tries should have talks and ex­changes at all lev­els.

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