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Delegates heading for Japan talks

Updated: Nov 12,2015 9:20 AM     China Daily

A delegation of about 50 leading Chinese entrepreneurs is scheduled to begin a visit to Japan on Nov 12 for discussions with influential Japanese political and industrial figures.

The trip comes at a time when the two governments are trying to continue repairing the two-way relationship.

Zeng Peiyan, a former vice-premier who now chairs the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, will lead the Chinese delegation, according to Japan’s Jiji news agency.

The delegation includes representatives from State-owned and private Chinese enterprises and involves sectors such as finance, manufacturing and services.

Premier Li Keqiang met with a visiting delegation of Japanese business tycoons in Beijing on Nov 4.

The Japanese group comprised a record 220 delegates, and Premier Li said he hoped the business leaders would “push the China-Japan relationship in the right direction”.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe highlighted the economic aspects of the relationship during his first meeting with Premier Li on Nov 1 in Seoul.

“Japan and China shoulder the responsibilities for regional peace and stability and economic development of the world,” Abe said.

Zhang Yansheng, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission’s Academic Committee, said Chinese enterprises and business owners looking to go global could learn a lot from Japanese counterparts, who began to explore outbound markets much earlier.

Zhang said cooperation between businesses in China and Japan in the past 35 years could be viewed as being a preliminary stage, while the next 35 years should be devoted to in-depth collaboration.

Zhou Yongsheng, a professor of Japanese studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said Abe is desperate to end the deterioration in economic relations between Japan and China by improving two-way political ties first.

“The drastic slump in Japanese exports to China earlier this year has cast a shadow on the Abe administration’s economic stimulus package, known as Abenomics,” Zhou said.

Wei Jianguo, executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and a former vice-minister of commerce, said that in the first eight months of this year, Japanese investment in China fell by 28.8 percent year-on-year and bilateral trade dropped by 10.9 percent.

Addressing the 11th semi official Beijing-Tokyo Forum last month, Wei warned that economic and trade ties between the two countries had worsened for three consecutive years.