China's development can benefit Japan

Updated: 2011-08-20 23:01

By Hu Qihua and Wu Jiao (

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China's development can benefit Japan


(From left) Zhao Qizheng, head of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Akashi Yasushi, former Under Secretary General of the United Nations, Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, Kato Koichi, chairman of Japan-China Friendship Association, and Chen Haosu, president of Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) toast during a reception for the Beijing-Tokyo Forum in Beijing, Aug 20, 2011. [Photo/Asianewsphoto]


BEIJING – China’s top government spokesman said Saturday that China’s development will facilitate and broaden China-Japan cooperation, despite that some Japanese people are afraid of China’s rise.

Toasting Chinese and Japanese representatives attending a reception for a major forum on China-Japan relations, Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, said China pursues an open development that is not exclusive to the rest of the world, but instead ensures cooperation and win-win with other countries.

"China and Japan’s economy are highly reliant on each other and they are so close that they cannot get separated from each other,” Wang said.

China’s development will surely bring more opportunities to Japan, Asia and the world at large, said Wang.

Wang quoted a recent survey conducted by China Daily and Genron NPO, the two sponsors of the annual Beijing-Tokyo Forum, which showed a sharp drop in the number of people in China and Japan harboring feelings of friendship toward each other following a year of often turbulent relations.

"Even though there have been difficulties in bilateral ties, the two countries should seize opportunities and push forward bilateral ties,” said Wang.

Wang also cautions that although some problems and disputes might continue to emerge in the future of China-Japan relations, timely communication and accurate understanding are necessary to avoid misunderstanding and prejudice.

Founded in 2005, the Beijing-Tokyo Forum is an annual international symposium aimed at providing a non-governmental exchange platform and improving China-Japan ties through public opinion polls and high-level dialogues.

The forum has become the highest-level public diplomatic communication platform between China and Japan.

According to Akashi Yasushi, former Under Secretary General of the United Nations, while government-to-government negotiations are necessary in bilateral ties, dialogue among grassroots from the two countries is also crucial as they complement the discussion between the two governments.

The current forum expects about 600 leaders from the political, business, academic and media fields to take part in a two-day discussion focusing on China-Japan cooperation, starting Sunday in Beijing.

"The two countries should seize opportunities for China’s economic restructuring and Japan’s reconstruction from the earthquake disasters, and make the most of the advantages of each other’s development while taking into account each other’s concerns to make contribution to not only the two countries and peoples, but Asia at large,” said China Daily Editor-in-Chief Zhu Ling at the reception.

Former Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan is scheduled to make a keynote speech on Sunday.

The forum comes at a time when bilateral ties experienced ups and downs in the past year.

Bilateral ties suffered a nosedive after a vessel-collision incident last September, while China’s timely help extended to Japan when it was jolted by an unprecedented magnitude-9 earthquake this March increased friendship between the two countries.

"It is more important for us to adhere to the China-Japan friendship in times of difficulties,” said Kato Koichi, a former key Japanese political figure who has participated in the forum for several years.

"It is possible that China-Japan ties might remain gloomy for the next two years, but I firmly believe that relations between the two peoples will get better as time goes by,” Koichi said.

It also comes at a time when the world economy is still struggling to recover from the sweeping financial crisis.

Eiichi Yoshikawa, president of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (China), said it’s important to discuss the future at a time of a delicate world economic situation.