Tokyo admits ‘differing views’ on Senkakus, opening door to Abe-Xi meeting


Staff Writer

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to have a summit meeting in Beijing next week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, a senior lawmaker in the ruling camp said Friday.

Komeito party leader Natsuo Yamaguchi cited a briefing Abe gave regarding his diplomatic schedule.

Such an encounter would be the first between the two leaders since Abe returned to power nearly two years ago.

Earlier in the day, the Japanese government released a written statement saying Beijing and Tokyo have agreed to recognize that the two sides have “differing views over the recent tension” over the Senkakus in the East China Sea. The islets are also claimed by China and Taiwan.

China has demanded that Japan admit a territorial dispute exists over the Senkakus, which it calls Diaoyu. Tokyo has rejected this, saying there can be no territorial dispute because there is no question about the legitimacy of Japan’s claim on the Senkakus.

China set the demand as one of two conditions for a summit meeting between Abe and Xi.

The document is vague. It does not declare outright that a territorial dispute exists, but the wording may still be strong enough to allow Beijing to save face and argue it has forced Japan issue an admission.

Beijing’s other key demand was that Abe declare he will no longer pay visits to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Abe has refused to accept that request, calling his visits and the decisions behind them an entirely private matter.

Friday’s statement makes no direct mention of the Yasukuni Shrine. But it speaks of recent achievements in bilateral relations, including an agreement to continue developing a “mutually beneficial strategic relationship” and to “address history straight-on.”

Earlier in the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference Japan had made no compromise over the Senkaku and Yasukuni issues in its negotiations with China.

“Our positions haven’t changed,” Suga said.

“At any rate, it’s important for the world’s second and third largest economies to be frank and have a (summit) meeting.”

  • timefox

    What kind of result is brought. Up to stairs, it will warn against dancing in a wish report, and suppose that it waits for a result.

  • Testerty

    Why would China and Japan even bother to made an announcement they agreed to disagree IF there is going to be a leader summit between Xi and Abe? So, obviously there will be no meeting.

  • tiger

    Everyone knows there a dispute exists. It’s been nagged about in the western media for so long. Abe can do better than that.

  • rossdorn

    “Tokyo admits ‘differing views’ on Senkakus…”

    They could have made that to everyone obvious statement a few years ago. But as long as the overlords in Washington insist on building up another “evil”, Japan has no say in the matter.
    With the usual consequences.

  • Frank Thornton

    I don’t see why Japan has a hard time to ” admit a territorial dispute exists over the Senkakus”. Even if you’re sure of ownership, if some guy walks up to your house and says it’s his and tries to keep you away from it, isn’t that a territorial dispute? Come on! Grow up! Stop being a little child and start fixing the problem.

  • Win T Pu

    I find Japanese executives are always negotiating this way. Even if we enter the negotiation with their holding weak cards, they will take the hardest claims, until the last second. They sometimes get away with it because you may have lack of information, lack of confidence, internal factions, time table deadlines or just running out of strength to stonewall them. Remember when Noda “nationalize the islands” he baldfacedly warned China not to react because he said “China will get hurt more than Japan.” Two weeks later when Japanese cars were getting rejected, he declared “this situation will hurt both nations.” Several months later, when it was obvious Japan was getting the worse of it, they changed their position of accusing China of trying to hurt Japan economically. So I do not want to hold an opinion on what compromise they will admit to. We’ll see.

  • Ethan Kaiunmanzoku

    Don’t release the news from the view of Chinese government!
    Japan had made no compromise over the Senkaku and Yasukuni issues in its negotiations with China!

    Japan Timesは、中共の主張を宣伝するような記事の出し方をしてはならない!

    The title must have been ‘Tokyo admits ‘differing views “over the recent tension”’ , Not different views’ “on Senkaku”!

    このJapan Timesの記事の表題は、different views’ “on Senkaku” となっているが、誤りである。differing views “over the recent tension” となるべきである。