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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 14:19, April 19, 2005
To develop Nippon-China cooperation will butter both sides
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Nakata Yoshio, executive council of the Japanese Council for International Trade Promotion have already worked continuously for scores of years in bridging up the economic exchanges between Japan and China when the reporter had an interview with him at the moment he put an end to his 327th China tour on 18 April.

Nakata Yoshio made an introduction to the reporter about the three major principles for the annual work in 2005 that was approved last month for the Japanese Council for International Trade Promotion, i.e. to push forward the Nippon-China complementary economic cooperation for mutual benefit in order to achieve common development; With the spirit of "using the history as a mirror to face the future" it is to promote and improve the political relations between the two countries and to expedite the consultation of the free trade agreement (FTA) so as to promote the regional economic cooperation in East Asia.

Over the past 33 years after the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations and the 27 years after China's implementation of reform and opening to the outside world, said Nakata Yoshio to the reporter, the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries have achieved a very good development. Last year witnessed the trade value of the two countries to reach 168.7 billion US dollars. And the Japanese investment to China realized an actual value of 48 billion US dollars while the Japanese enterprises in China have come up to 18,000 in all featuring a total of 3,3000 projects. The achievements obtained are inseparable with the efforts made by personages of insights and those of economic circles of the two countries. The complementary economic relations between Japan and China are unable to be separated from each other, which have come to form a mutual dependence for a mutual benefit.

In view of the 2nd aspect, the economic cooperation in East Asia, it is inseparable from the cooperation between Japan and China. It is a trend in the world to set up free trade zones, for instance: the North America Free Trade Zone of the US, Canada and Mexico and the regional cooperation in the EU area. Now, Japan, the ROK and China have a big amount of foreign exchange reserve. If no regional cooperation is set up a great amount of funds will outflow into the US. To set up an economy and trade zone in Asia it is necessary to work out first and foremost the free trade agreement in the East Asia economic zone and the prerequisite for its realization is to strengthen the economic cooperation between Japan and China.

The next is the problem of the Asia security guarantee. To take a look round the world, there sees a constant war in the Middle East while the Eastern Europe and Western Asia are in turmoil and intranquility. However, Japan is now go hand in glove with the US and worked out the joint declaration. The Taiwan issue is the internal problem of China and in this regard Japan was poking its nose into other's porridge. In view of the safety and stability both Japanese and Chinese governments should adopt measures to eliminate the dangerous factors over the security problem in East Asia. Therefore, the two countries must not widen their confrontation and the security problem can only be solved by way of extending the cooperation.

In regard of the disputes and differences between Japan and China Nakata Yoshio is of opinion that we should do in line with what Mr. Deng Xiaoping has said: to solve them by way of consultation when disputes come up instead of doing anything for fanning up the national feelings among the people. To make Japan and China in good terms expressed he, it is necessary to strengthen the cooperation in "seeking common ground on major issues while reserving differences on minor ones". Why the occurrence of the situation "cold in politics and hot in economy" between Japan and China is fundamentally due to Japan's attitude towards the handling of the historical problems of the past and the Taiwan issue. Over the past 3 years and more since the establishment of Junichiro Koizumi cabinet there has witnessed 4 times of his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. The friendly groups and civil groups all advised him not to visit the Yasukuni shrine, not to do anything hurting the feelings of the Chinese people and the people of the ROK and the peoples of other Asian countries but he turned a deaf ear to it, making no correction at all. With regard to Japan itself, the Japanese people are also the victims of the war but the Chinese people suffered more serious sufferings. The Japanese statesmen should have a correct viewpoint of the history of the past and face the history squarely.

The Japanese society is changing Nakata Yoshio laid a special stress on the point, by saying that not all the people in Japan do not make repentance on the aggressive behaviors of the past. Only a handful number of them want to reverse the verdict though they have very big capability for manoeuvre. As learned the ordinary Japanese people are taken in China as right-wingers this is not true either. Because the broad masses of the Japanese people are in friendly terms with the Chinese people and it is hoped that the Chinese people will draw a line of demarcation between the Japanese right-wingers and the broad masses of the Japanese people.

Nakata Yoshio stressed to the reporter, "The more you are in difficulty the more you have to stick to the principle and to keep calm. This is the conception of the Japanese Council for International Trade Promotion. We encourage the Japanese enterprises which are going to invest and set up factories in China to strengthen the consciousness for friendship between Japan and China and not to do anything detrimental to friendly relations. The Japanese Council for International Trade Promotion would like to remind the friends in the Japanese business circle not to be pull along by anybody else. It is a cause of justice to develop the friendly relations between Japan and China and we have to stick to it since it's a just cause. I'm full of confidence that the Japan-China friendship will see a bright future."

This is an article carried on the third page of People's Daily on April 19 and translated by People's Daily Online

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