‘Wise men’ may counsel Japan, China

Japan and China will examine the possibility of creating a bilateral council of “wise men” to enhance relations between the two nations, former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa said Friday.

He proposed the idea to Vice President Hu Jintao during their meeting Tuesday in Beijing, adding that Hu said he will consider the proposal in a positive light.

During the meeting, the two agreed that bilateral relations are necessary for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, while acknowledging steadfast improvements in their countries’ ties.

Pointing out that “unpredictable events” often rock relationships, however, Hosokawa stressed the need to create a discussion group to talk freely about matters pertinent to the nations.

Honest discussions between the so-called wise men — business leaders, academics and experts in other fields — from the two countries will help prevent squabbles from marring future-oriented relations, he said.

“There already exist some channels between us, but many of them are outdated and have been reduced to mere formalities,” he said.

Hosokawa was in China for three days through Thursday at the invitation of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs.