A delegation of top Chinese business leaders visiting Japan called for economic cooperation to repair Tokyo-Beijing relations strained by the ongoing dispute over the Senkaku Islands.
“I hope Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) will help improve bilateral relations,” CITIC Group Corp. Chairman Chang Zhenming, who heads the group of leaders of major Chinese corporations, said as he met with Keidanren Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura on Sept. 25.
Chang also emphasized the mutual interest he and many Chinese have in Japan when he met Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on the same day.
“Most of the companies (we represent) are investing in Japan,” Chang told Suga. “One corporate manager has even donated cars to help people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.”
Suga, for his part, also issued words of welcome to the delegation during a news conference.
“The visit helps develop a mutually beneficial relationship between Japan and China based on common strategic interests,” the top government spokesman said. “Problems do exist because we are neighbors, but dialogue is essential.”
The administration of President Xi Jinping allowed Chang’s delegation to visit Japan, in part, because local Chinese governments have been calling for improved relations with Japan.
(This article was written by Hirotaka Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Tokuhiko Saito in Beijing.)
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