Japan, China row heats up over UN seat
Updated: 2005-03-25 16:38
Japan fanned the blaze of a raging row with China on Friday, by saying the
lifting of the EU arms embargo on China would be a “big problem” for Asian
Japan is wooing world leaders
for a favorable consideration of its bid for a permanent seat at the United
Nations Security Council. On Thursday, more than one million people, mostly
Chinese, signed their names at the sina.com site to voice their opposition to
Cabinet Secretary, Hiroyuki Hosoda, said March 25, on the eve of a visit
by French President Jacques Chirac that the lifting of the EU arms embargo
on China being pushed by France would be a 'big problem' for Asian
Chinese Government now faces daunting pressure to be tough with Japan,
On the eve of a visit by French President Jacques Chirac, Japanese Government
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said: "Considering stability in Asia,
the United States and Japan share the awareness that resuming arms exports would
be a big problem."
Hosoda said the issue of the arms embargo would likely be on the agenda when
Chirac meets Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Tokyo Sunday.
Chirac said Wednesday he still expected an agreement to lift the ban by the end
of June, despite signs the 25-member EU bloc could delay its decision.
Washington has been pressuring Europe not to lift the ban. US lawmakers
have even threatened to levy punitive trade sanctions on European companies if
the embargo is lifted, which was imposed 16 years ago.
China says the
embargo is political discrimination and also a nuisance in better Sino-EU
Chirac, accompanied by his wife Bernadette and a delegation of
French business leaders, will arrive in the western city of Osaka on Saturday
and then head by train to Nagoya to see the World Exposition. From there he will
go to Tokyo Sunday to meet Koizumi.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Roh
Moo-hyun said that his country is ready for a "diplomatic war" with Japan as
tensions flared between the neighbours over a territorial row and a Japanese
textbook critics say whitewashes Japan's militarist history.
that South Korea's determination to set Japan right "may cause stinging
diplomatic war", but pledged to press Japan to take actions he saw as corrective
and persist until Tokyo "listens and does what it rightly has to do."
The comments were the strongest ever on Japan from Roh, who until last
year vowed not to let the history get in the way of improving ties with Tokyo.
South Korea's anger was triggered when a local Japanese assembly last
week passed a measure asserting Japan's claim to desolate islands, called Tokto
in Korea and Takeshima in Japan.