China official sees enhanced Japan ties

JIJI

The head of the China-Japan Friendship Association, Tang Jiaxuan, told Keidanren leader Hiromasa Yonekura that he is confident bilateral ties will begin to improve, during a meeting in Beijing.

According to Yonekura, chairman of the nation’s biggest business lobby, Tang told him Saturday that despite months of tensions over the disputed Senkaku Islands, relations between Japan and China are not as fraught as generally believed.

Meanwhile, Tang also called for the promotion of private sector exchanges between the two countries.

The Sino-Japanese relationship has been severely strained since Tokyo effectively nationalized the Senkakus in September. The East China Sea islet cluster is controlled by Japan but claimed by China.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Yonekura welcomed an accord between Tokyo and Beijing to facilitate technological cooperation in a bid to fight toxic smog originating in China.

“Solving China’s environmental problems through Japan’s knowledge and technology is a very positive thing,” Yonekura said.