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Japan, China Agree To Move Forward as Cooperative Partners, Not Threats to One Another

May 30, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Fourth High-level Japan-China Dialogue began yesterday with a five-hour meeting co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, the nation’s top foreign policy official, and Japanese National Security Advisor Shotaro Yachi. Yang is in Japan for three days, and also met with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida today. While tensions are evident, both Yang and Yachi emphasized that cooperation between their countries is vital for Asia as a whole, and both spoke of the need to fully implement the consensus that they are each other’s cooperative partner, and not threats to each other.

The discussions happily were held after the ground-breaking Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, to which Prime Minister Abe had sent a high-level representative.

"China-Japan relations are currently at an important juncture with both new opportunities and outstanding challenges," Yang said, as reported in Xinhua. "The two sides should remind themselves of their original intention for normalizing ties, take history as a mirror while facing to the future." Yang invited Japan to discuss cooperation with China in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, reiterating that China’s development is an opportunity for Japan, and he pressed both to "upgrade bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and expand cooperation in new areas." In that light, he urged that there be more exchanges between young people and local governments of the two nations, to build the trust and mutual understanding required.

A statement from the Japanese Foreign Ministry quotes Yachi as having told Yang that

"Japan and China need to work together to strongly urge North Korea to avoid further provocative actions and obey things like United Nations resolutions."

Foreign Minister Kishida also emphasized cooperation on the North Korea issue.

China, for its part, cautioned Japan on the South China Sea, Chinese wires report:

"We hope that the Japanese side would be cautious in its statements and actions related to the South China Sea issue and would play a constructive role in the settlement of the dispute between the relevant regional countries,"

Yang said. (The South Chinese Morning Post reports in this context that Japan’s Coast Guard is holding training exercises wtih the Philippines and Vietnam in June.)