Japanese economic leaders, Beijing politicos seek to improve ties

March 22, 2013

By KEIKO YOSHIOKA/ Correspondent

BEIJING--Members of the Japan-China Economic Association met with a former Chinese state official on March 21 in the Chinese capital to discuss ways to improve ties between the two countries, which have been strained since last fall over the Senkaku Islands dispute.

Fujio Cho, Toyota Motor Corp. chairman, and Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), told Tang Jiaxuan, a former Chinese state councilor and chairman of the China-Japan Friendship Association, that they would be glad to help China solve its serious air pollution problems in Beijing and other cities.

About 500 member companies of the Japan-China Economic Association are ready to pass along their technologies and experiences through private-sector exchanges, and they hope to find a path to negotiations within the economic field during the latest visit.

The association previously planned to visit Beijing in September, but the storm of anti-Japan demonstrations across China after the Japanese government purchased three of the Senkaku Islands the same month caused the meeting to be postponed.

The approximately 20 members in Beijing on March 21 represent only about one-10th the number the group had originally planned to send.

"(Sino-Japanese relations are) in the toughest situation since the normalization of our diplomatic relationship," Tang told the Japanese representatives. "We both have to make efforts so that we can get back on track toward the normalization (of our bilateral ties) as soon as possible.

“The economies of Japan and China have been molded into one. It will be better to promote exchanges and cooperation (in economic fields) as planned.”

By KEIKO YOSHIOKA/ Correspondent
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Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), left, shakes hands with Tang Jiaxuan, a former Chinese state councilor, in Tokyo in November 2010. (Pool)

Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), left, shakes hands with Tang Jiaxuan, a former Chinese state councilor, in Tokyo in November 2010. (Pool)

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  • Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), left, shakes hands with Tang Jiaxuan, a former Chinese state councilor, in Tokyo in November 2010. (Pool)

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