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China calls for more positive demeanor from Japan to boost ties

Updated: Apr 13,2016 7:29 AM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Wang Yang (R) meets with a large Japanese business delegation led by retired Japanese political heavyweight and former speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives Yohei Kono, who now serves as president of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade, on April 12 in Beijing.[Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — Vice-Premier Wang Yang has called on Japan to take a more positive demeanor to boost economic and trade ties with China while cautiously dealing with sensitive issues. Wang made the comment on April 12 when meeting with a large Japanese business delegation led by retired Japanese political heavyweight and former speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives Yohei Kono, who now serves as president of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade.

“Economic and trade cooperation is an important foundation and engine for China-Japan relations to move forward. Both sides should grasp opportunities to improve the mutually beneficial cooperation,” Wang said.

“I hope Japan can handle major sensitive issues cautiously and appropriately and promote economic and trade cooperation with China in a more positive demeanor to contribute more to the continual improvement of bilateral relationship,” the vice-premier told the delegation, most of whom are entrepreneurs.

China-Japan relations have soured since the Japanese government’s “purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012. Territorial disputes, along with historical issues, as Japanese right-wing forces attempt to whitewash its militarism in World War II, have hindered the development of bilateral ties.

China has repeatedly demanded Japan face up to history and honor its past commitments.

Kono, then Chief Cabinet Secretary, acknowledged in a 1993 statement that Japan’s government recruited more than 200,000 young women and forced them to serve in military brothels. Former Japanese Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi made the “Murayama Statement” in 1995, which admitted Japan’s history of invasion and offered apologies.

Also on April 12, Wang met with a French business delegation headed by former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, calling for more partnership in exploring third markets.

Vice-Premier Wang Yang (R) meets with a French business delegation headed by former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin on April 12 in Beijing.[Photo/Xinhua]

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