Japan to push for China WTO entry at Denver

Japan will promote the accession of China to the World Trade Organization at the upcoming annual meeting of the world’s top leaders in Denver, said Kazuo Ogura, deputy minister for foreign affairs at the Foreign Ministry.

Ogura, who will serve as Japan’s sherpa to the summit, showed less enthusiasm about the entry of Russia into the trade body, although he said he is not opposed to it. “China’s trade is twice as much as that of Russia,” said Ogura. “Russia should first fulfill economic requirements and its entry should not be judged by political considerations.”

Russia is demanding entry into international organizations in exchange for its acceptance of NATO’s plan to expand into Eastern Europe. It will be in Denver as a full member of the Group of Seven industrialized nations from June 20 to 22. Japan had been reluctant to accept Russia’s entry because of a territorial dispute over islands off Hokkaido.

Ogura said that Russia’s entry into international society is crucial for global stability. However, it remains to be seen whether Russia is willing to fulfill responsibilities in the world community, he said.