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Territorial dispute should enter 'resting stage'

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-19 06:42

TOKYO - Resolving territorial dispute between Japan and China will be a long process and the issue should enter a "resting stage", said Uichiro Niwa, former Japanese ambassador to China.

Saying in a recent interview, the former ambassador said that it is no good for both sides to scramble to resolve the issue of Diaoyu Islets and the two countries should let the issue enter into a rest period.

Niwa suggested that both sides have to immediately establish a crisis managing mechanism so as to avoid crisis escalating in the disputed area, adding the two neighbors should also keep dialogue in fishery and oil exploration in the region.

The only way for the future of Japan-China relations is to maintain friendly ties, said Niwa. Although it is a path of thorns, the two countries should follow it, he added.

"If they abandon friendship, the dedicated efforts by both countries' elder statesmen will end in vain," the ambassador said.

He also emphasized that Japan and China have to think how to improve bilateral relations through an overall perspective with cool head and wisdom, rather than exchange verbal attacks.

Although he thought it is not ripe for Japanese and Chinese leaders to exchange visits, Niwa said a multilateral occasion will be good, referring the coming Japan-South Korea-China summit.

"I hope leaders of Japan and China could hold a summit in the trilateral event so as to convey the willingness of mending ties," Niwa said.

As to whether the Japanese ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) could win the upper house election, Niwa said it will depend on the recovery of Japan's economy.

He said if the LDP wins the election, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will still adopt realistic foreign policies and will not break away from existing international rules. "The Japanese people will not allow him to break the rules," Niwa added.

Niwa, the first non-governmental person who served as Japanese ambassador to China, also highly praised China's new leadership, saying both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang know Japan and are wise and veteran leaders.

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