05/03/2005, 00.00
EU - JAPAN
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Koizumi urges EU to keep arms embargo on China

Luxembourg (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has told EU not to lift the arms ban on China.

"I did in fact express our concern" Mr Koizumi told reporters yesterday during a press conference in the UE-Japan meeting in Luxembourg. EU's response was that "Japan concern is very well understood on this question" and that the EU "would like to deal with the matter so that it does not lead to a problem".

Luxemburg Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, said he had assured Mr Koizumi that if the embargo were lifted, the EU would not increase arms exports from China in a way that would threaten security in Asia. The arms embargo was imposed after Beijing's crackdown on pro-democracy rallies in 1989.

Mr Koizumi talks about rising tensions between Japan and China. He expressed "concern" that tensions could rise again on Wednesday, the anniversary of the 4 May 1919 Chinese student protests against Japanese nationals and interests.
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