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Japan Moves Further To Engage with Belt and Road

Dec. 7, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Secretaries General of the two parties of Japan’s governing coalition, Toshihiro Nikai of the Liberal Democratic Party and Yoshihisa Inoue of the junior party, Komeito, are travelling to Beijing later in December and hope to meet with President Xi Jinping, Livemint reports today. It was Nikai who represented Japan at the mid-May Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, in which Helga Zepp-LaRouche participated.

Their trip follows Prime Minister Abe’s statement to Chinese and Japanese businessmen earlier this week, that Japan is willing to cooperate with China on the Belt and Road.

Discussing their trip, Inoue said that Japan may consider joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) launched by China, which now has 80 approved members, if certain conditions are met.

He said he saw strong signals from China of a willingness to improve ties.

"They are actively setting up opportunities to explain their thinking and their policies for the future. We didn’t see this much in the past. I think the Chinese side has a policy of improving ties since the Party Congress,"

in October.

Livemint concludes its report by noting that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo

"Abe has said several times that he wants to host Xi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a trilateral summit in Japan by the end of the year. With time running out, Abe said this week he still hoped to hold it soon, and reiterated his desire to visit China next year to mark the 40th anniversary of a friendship treaty between the two countries."

In related news, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun and China’s Global Times report that China and Japan agreed in talks on Dec. 5-6, to begin operating a hotline to avoid accidental conflict in the East China Sea. Global Times quoted Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations, that "the agreement reached by both sides shows a recovery in China-Japan ties."