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Japan Considers Joint Projects With Chinese Companies on ‘One Belt, One Road’ Economic Areas

Nov. 30, 2017 (EIRNS)—According to a Nov. 28 article in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, under the headline "Gov’t. To Help Japan, China Firms in Belt and Road," the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering supporting companies to carry out joint projects with Chinese companies along the China-formulated "One Belt, One Road" economic areas. The purpose, the article noted, is also "to improve Japan-China relations and obtaining China’s cooperation in hindering North Korea’s nuclear and missile development." According to the plan, "the government will emphasize assistance in three fields: energy saving and environmental cooperation; industrial advances; and improving the usability of distribution (e.g. rail) networks," the article said.

This new thinking, the article notes, emerged following a meeting between Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Germany last July.

"During the meeting, Abe described the project as an initiative with potential, and expressed his willingness to cooperate. Abe confirmed the cooperation policy at another meeting with Xi in Vietnam on Nov. 11. Government offices including the Cabinet Secretariat, the Foreign Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry have worked out a concrete plan," the article noted.

Analyzing this development, China’s Global Times, in an article today, said "generally speaking, Japan’s economy has always been greatly dependent on overseas markets. So for the sustainable development of its economy, Japan needs access to the business opportunities offered by the vast infrastructure projects along the Belt & Road (B&R) route."

Moreover, Global Times added,

"the economic appeal of the B&R seems to be particularly hard to resist as Japan faces growing pressure from sluggish domestic growth and rising U.S. protectionism. It is nearly impossible for Japan to expand further into markets in the U.S. or Europe, but new markets are essential for it to maintain steady economic growth."