BEIJING (Kyodo) Japan’s new ambassador to China, Uichiro Niwa, arrived in Beijing on Saturday and said he will serve with “patriotism and a pro-China spirit.”

Niwa said he wants to develop bilateral relations in a long-term perspective, citing a time frame of “1,000 and 2,000 years,” and that he sees little sense the two countries will “confront and compete” in issues of the next 10 to 20 years.

“As the two countries have economic clout in the world, I would like to build peaceful relations,” Niwa told reporters at his official residence.

“I would like to do my job with ‘patriotism and a pro-China spirit,’ ” he said. “I don’t think I can take a summer holiday this year.”

Niwa said he wants to increase grassroots and youth exchanges, especially in the fields of culture and sports such as baseball and table tennis, so “ordinary citizens” of the two countries can boost mutual understanding.

A former president of trading house Itochu Corp., Niwa is the first ambassador to China from the private sector since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1972.

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