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‘Match words with deeds’: Chinese FM tells Japanese counterpart
April 30, 2016, 6:08 am

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) at a press interaction with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Beijing, capital of China, April 30, 2016 [Xinhua]

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) at a press interaction with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Beijing, capital of China, April 30, 2016 [Xinhua]

In a meeting on Saturday in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida that China would judge Japan’s desire to improve ties depending on its actions.

“We have recently seen the Japanese side repeatedly expressing its hope of improving the bilateral relationship. You have also shown your willingness to take the first step. If you come with sincerity, we welcome you,” Wang said.

The Chinese Foreign Minister stressed that he is ready to listen to Kishida’s opinion about how to improve bilateral relations.

“As the Chinese saying goes, we should make a judgment based on not only what people say but also what they do. I am ready to listen to your opinion about how to improve China-Japan relations, and I am also going to see whether the Japanese side will match its words with deeds,” he added.

“Facing up to history, abiding by promises and cooperation rather than confrontation should be the basis of China-Japan relations.”

Kishida is paying an official visit to China from Friday to Sunday, the first by Kishida since he took office over three years ago. This is also the first visit to China by a Japanese foreign minister in four-and-a-half years.

Ahead of his China trip, media reports quoted Kishida on Monday saying China was making the world “worried” with its military buildup and maritime expansion in the East and South China Seas.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday has made clear to China that Japanese media’s reports about Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida’s remarks on East China Sea and South China Sea did not represent official position.

Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun had said Kishida would express “apparent objection” to China’s activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea during his visit to China.

Tensions between the two countries have risen in the past years, with each side accusing the other of flying military aircraft too close to its own jets in a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of islets in the East China Sea.

Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine, regarded by China as a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism has also infuriated both China and South Korea. The legacy of Japan’s World War Two aggression has cast a shadow over ties between the two countries.

The conflict, commonly known in China as the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, led to the death of some 20 million Chinese, according to Beijing’s estimates. It ended with Tokyo’s World War II defeat in 1945.

Japan has also recently announced a reinterpretation of its pacifist constitution, by ending a ban that has kept the Japanese military from fighting abroad.

Economic ties between China and Japan have also suffered in recent times.

Exports to China – Japan’s largest trading partner – fell 7.1 per cent in March.


TBP and Agencies

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