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    » 12/31/2007, 00.00

    CHINA – JAPAN

    Fukuda’s visit ends with lots of promises but few results



    Despite few concrete results, actually less than what was expected, the two countries insist on the need for co-operation. The two government leaders play ball as part of a charm offensive, insist on their common roots.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda concluded a four-day visit to mainland China with lots of feel-good statements but few results. Before leaving he stopped in Qufu (Shandong), the birthplace of Confucius, who is also revered in Japan.

    “Visiting Qufu . . . I thought that I had truly arrived at the starting point of culture 2,500 years ago,” he said as if to highlight the two countries’ common roots. Earlier he had stated that there would “be nothing good for the region and the world unless Japan and China have co-operative relations.”

    At Pekin University he also told students that Japan must reflect on its mistakes and face up to its past aggression.

    This is a far cry from three years ago when relations had reached a low point raising concern and tensions in Asia.

    For many experts although the trip marks an upswing in Sino-Japanese relations it does nothing to solve some of the pending issues, first and foremost the question of energy resources in the East China Sea, which both countries want to exploit, and the growing alarm with which each side views the other’s military ambitions. The two also do not see eye to eye on limits to greenhouse gases, which Tokyo would like to see applied to all states. By contrast Beijing, the world’s largest polluter, would like to see developing countries exempted.

    Unlike other heads of states whose visits end in major economic deals, the highlight of this summit was Mr Fukuda, 71, and Premier Wen Jiabao, 65, decked out in baseball uniforms and tossing a ball around in a state guesthouse gymnasium in Beijing.

    However, for Takeshi Inoguchi, a political scientist at Tokyo's Chuo University, the visit affected ties positively but “was not a home run.”

    All experts agree though that important deals will be worked out in the future since both countries realise that it is in their own self-interest to grow together rather than thwart each other.

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    See also

    21/11/2007 CHINA – JAPAN
    Chinese warship on friendly visit to Japan
    Relations between Beijing and Tokyo show warming signs. Wen Jiabao meets Fukuda in Singapore. But tensions remain over energy and regional politics.

    17/06/2008 CHINA – JAPAN
    “Historic” agreement to exploit East China Sea gas fields not far off
    Instead of solving their territorial disputes the two countries seem poised to recognise each other rights to exploit and profit from sea floor energy. In Asia new diplomatic initiatives favour shared economic growth in lieu of finding quick fixes to old disputes.

    28/12/2007 CHINA – JAPAN
    Fukuda’s visit to foster new cordial ties between Beijing and Tokyo
    Both countries want to leave behind decades of war and cold relations in favour of closer co-operation. East China See energy resources and defence spending are main stumbling blocks. Words of good will prevail as results lag.

    07/07/2006 CHINA
    Chinese language and culture renaissance in the name of Confucius
    The government plans to spend billions of dollars to teach the Chinese language overseas and spread Confucian culture at home to save China from the crisis of Communist ideology.

    27/01/2014 ASIA
    Tokyo-Delhi axis irritates Beijing, which sets broader sights on the South and East China Seas
    Chinese Navy ships sail near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which are at the centre of a dispute with Japan. Japan's prime minister is in India to boost economic and defence co-operation. Chinese naval drills are held near the James Shoal. Beijing leads an international scientific expedition in search of oil and gas.



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