Japanese FM: Relations with China will improve
Updated: 2006-02-14 08:58
A Japanese foreign ministry official says he believes relations with China
will improve, despite a recent rise in animosity between the countries.
Akira Chiba, an assistant press secretary for the ministry, told an audience
at the American Enterprise Institute on Monday that the Asian neighbors have
long misunderstood each other.
Chiba said polls show many Chinese often express strong dislike for Japan
without realizing that Japan provides billions of dollars of direct investment
and financial help to China.
As communication and trade continue to improve, he said, so will relations
between the governments.
"I think it's going to be a splendid partnership. There's so much we can do
for each other," Chiba said.
Chiba's presentation at the think tank came after a New York Times editorial
criticized Japan's foreign minister, Taro Aso, for "inflammatory statements"
about Japan's history that the newspaper said have offended other Asian
During the weekend, Japan and China had high-level meetings aimed at
resolving key disputes that have chilled their relations. The discussions ended
only with promises to keep talking, and specific details weren't released.
Chiba declined to discuss the content of the meetings.