DPJ’s Eda to visit China this month

Kyodo

Former House of Councilors President Satsuki Eda will visit Beijing in late April to call for improving Sino-Japanese ties during talks with senior Chinese officials, opposition party sources said Sunday.

Eda, a councilor from the Democratic Party of Japan, heads the Japan-China Friendship Center, one of seven bilateral friendship organizations. During his stay in Beijing, possibly between April 27 and 29, Eda will meet with Chinese Education Minister Yuan Guiren and Culture Minister Cai Wu, the DPJ sources said.

The veteran politician will also seek a dialogue with China’s new foreign minister, Wang Yi, who formerly served as Chinese ambassador to Japan, they said.

Bilateral relations have sunk to their lowest in years over conflicting sovereignty claims over the Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan. Political exchanges have been stalled since the Japanese effectively nationalized the chain last September.

Eda is set to stress the need to promote private-sector exchanges, regardless of political tensions, the sources said.