Japan PM says open to summit with China to help economic ties

TOKYO Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:53pm IST

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a policy speech during the start of an ordinary session at the lower house of parliament in Tokyo January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes a policy speech during the start of an ordinary session at the lower house of parliament in Tokyo January 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

Related Topics

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he was open to a meeting with Chinese leaders to rebuild ties damaged by a territorial dispute but said there was no room for negotiations on their row over a group of small islands.

The remarks came after China's Communist Party chief, Xi Jinping, told a Japanese envoy sent to Beijing last week that he was committed to developing bilateral ties and would consider holding a summit meeting.

Relations between the world's second- and third-largest economies plunged after the Japanese government bought three disputed islands from a private owner last September, sparking anti-Japan protests across China. Some Japanese businesses were looted and Japanese citizens attacked.

"It is precisely because we have a problem that we should hold the summit between leaders and have high-level talks," Abe said on a television programme. "I would like to consider a top-level summit if circumstances allow."

The conservative prime minister has just increased the defence budget for the first time in 11 years and swept back to power in a December election calling for the protection of Japan's "beautiful seas".

He reiterated Japan's stance on the islands, which it controls. Japan calls them the Senkaku while China calls them the Diaoyu.

"The Senkaku Islands are our land and China has taken provocative steps against them ... we have been clear that there is no room for negotiation on this matter," he said.

"But on top of that, there's an economic relationship. Japan invests in China and reaps benefits from exporting its goods there while China creates job places thanks to Japanese investment," said Abe, adding that maintaining strong economic ties were vital for both countries.

"If top-level meeting was necessary to achieve that, we should do it and from that point on rebuild our relationship."

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

ISLAMIC STATE

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Japan Quake

Japan Quake

Magnitude 6.8 quake hits central Japan; no tsunami warning.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Mali records new Ebola case, linked to dead nurse.  Full Article 

U.S. in Afghanistan

U.S. in Afghanistan

Obama approves fresh guidelines for U.S. military in Afghanistan.  Full Article 

Nuclear Iran

Nuclear Iran

West not expected to demand Iran atom bomb "mea culpa" in deal.  Full Article 

Bahrain Elections

Bahrain Elections

Bahrain holds elections, Shi'ite opposition boycotts vote.  Full Article 

Colombia's FARC

Colombia's FARC

Colombia's Santos says FARC release of hostages will be next week.  Full Article 

Sarkozy Speaks

Sarkozy Speaks

France's Sarkozy wants EU to lose half its powers.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage