China-Japan drawing closer amid trade pressure from US

Fredrick Soto
October 27, 2018

He is scheduled to return to Japan on Saturday. China is now the world's second largest economy and Japan the third.

Regarding the global free trade system, Abe said it is of great significance to reinforce economic order based on free and fair trade rules under the current circumstances.

In a speech to a business forum on Friday, Abe harked back to Japan's role in providing aid and private sector investment from the 1980s that helped turn China into an economic powerhouse.

Gokhale said the two leaders are expected to deliberate on regional security issues, situation in Korean peninsula and that India will raise its concerns over terrorism.

Xi, who made the remarks while meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, added that a healthy and stable relationship was in line with the interests of both countries, state radio reported. Abe and Li also agreed to move ahead with negotiations on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which the two countries and ASEAN are promoting, as well as a free trade agreement among Japan, China and South Korea.

Indeed Mr Abe's visit shows the relationship is on the mend after territorial disputes and a disastrous falling out in 2012 over islands in the East China Sea. "Whenever they feel the need to take it out, I'm sure they will do that".

This will be Modi's third visit to Japan for the summit and his 12th meeting with Abe since 2014.

Faced with the threat of a trade war with the United States, China and Japan have chose to work together to develop new overseas markets, by focusing on collaboration instead of competing with each other. Japan has stipulated that it does not want to be involved in so-called Belt and Road projects - China's ambitious bid to draw countries into its orbit through infrastructure investment - unless worldwide standards of transparency and fiscal sustainability are applied, said a senior Japanese official, who spoke on condition of anonymity according to diplomatic custom.

"Though the USA is quite an influential factor in China-Japan ties, the effect is limited", the Global Times newspaper said in an editorial. "Between the two countries for more than 70 years is not concluded a peace Treaty", said Prime Minister of Japan.

But despite the feel-good vibes, Abe also delivered a sterner message, a Japanese spokesman said, warning China that "without stability in the East China Sea, there will not be a true improvement in the relationship".

The last Japanese prime minister to make a bilateral visit to China was Yoshihiko Noda in December 2011.

Mr Abe also said Tokyo was "determined" to normalise diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, but only if preconditions were met, including denuclearisation and the release of kidnapped Japanese citizens.

"There is a possibility they could cooperate against China", Hu Lingyuan, head of the Center for Japanese Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said of the Indo-Pacific group. This was because the TPP was seen by Tokyo as the economic inculcation of the US economy into the region to match America's extensive network of alliances and security partnerships that can be found throughout North and Southeast Asia.

"During this visit, I will have a chance to see some of Japan's high-tech capabilities in robotics".

And while Japan has been critical of Mr Trump's policy of slapping tariffs on China, Mr Abe's government shares some U.S. concerns on trade and investment.

While Japan, anxious about China's growing naval power, is keen for closer economic ties with its biggest trading partner, it must manage that rapprochement without upsetting its key security ally, the United States, with which it has trade problems of its own.

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