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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 March 29 - April 4  > Shii calls on Kishida to make efforts to improve bilateral relations with China in a positive manner
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2023 March 29 - April 4 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Shii calls on Kishida to make efforts to improve bilateral relations with China in a positive manner

March 31, 2023
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on March 30 held talks with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in the Diet building and handed over the party’s policy proposal calling on the Japanese and Chinese governments to make efforts to improve bilateral relations in a positive manner. JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira, JCP Policy Commission Chair Tamura Tomoko, and JCP Diet Policy Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji also attended the talks. The JCP on the same day delivered its proposal to the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.

The full text of the proposal is as follows:

For positive breakthroughs in Japan-China relations - Proposals by the Japanese Communist Party -

Japan-China relations are one of the most important bilateral relationships for both countries, and cooperation for peace and friendship is not only in the interest of Japan, China, and their people, but also for the benefit of Asia and the world’s peace and development. However, the various disputes, tensions, and conflicts between Japan and China at present are a matter of deep concern.
How can we achieve positive breakthroughs in Japan-China relations?
The Japanese Communist Party focuses on the fact that there is a common foundation for peace and friendship between the governments of Japan and China in the following three areas, and calls on both governments to make diplomatic efforts to make peace and friendship a reality by utilizing this common foundation.

The first point is the “Joint Statement on Comprehensive Promotion of the ‘Strategic and Mutually Beneficial Relationship’” signed by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and President Hu Jintao during their Japan-China summit on May 7, 2008.
This “Joint Statement” confirms the following important agreements, based on the Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China of 1978, and the Japan-China Joint Declaration of 1998: “The two sides recognized that they are partners who cooperate together and are not threats to each other.”
The agreement of “not [becoming] threats to each other,” confirmed in the “Joint Statement” of 2008, has been consistently reaffirmed in subsequent Japan-China summit meetings. Most recently, at the Japan-China summit meeting held during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November of last year, this agreement was confirmed again. The fact that the agreement of “not [becoming] threats to each other” has been exchanged and consistently reaffirmed holds significant importance for positive breakthroughs in Japan-China relations.

The second is regarding the issue of the Senkaku Islands. At the “Discussions toward Improving Japan-China Relations” held on November 7, 2014, four points of agreement were confirmed, and the following agreement was included in the third point:
“Both sides recognized that they had different views as to the emergence of tense situations in recent years in the waters of the East China Sea, including those around the Senkaku Islands, and shared the view that, through dialogue and consultation, they would prevent the deterioration of the situation, establish a crisis management mechanism and avert the rise of unforeseen circumstances.”
The Japanese Communist Party has stated its view that the legitimacy of Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands is clear both historically and under international law, and has presented detailed evidence to support this position. In addition, the Party advocates acknowledging the existence of the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands and resolving the issue through calm and rational diplomatic negotiations. The Party strongly opposes any attempt to change the status quo through the use of force, in accordance with international law.
The agreement reached by the two governments in 2014 regarding the tension in the waters of the Senkaku Islands and the East China Sea, in which both Japan and China “recognize that they have different views,” or both sides recognize the existence of a dispute, and confirm their commitment to resolving the issue through “dialogue and consultation,” is a reasonable step in the right direction.

The third point is the common ground regarding multilateral peace frameworks that involve both Japan and China. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has proposed the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” (AOIP), which aims to develop the East Asia Summit (EAS), consisting of ASEAN’s 10 countries, Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and India, into a regional peace framework and eventually envision a friendly cooperation treaty on the East Asia scale.
The important thing is that all countries participating in the EAS, including both the Japanese and Chinese governments, have shown their support for the AOIP. Rather than excluding various countries, the direction proposed by ASEAN to develop an inclusive peace framework that encompasses all countries in the region is a source of great hope, as there is common ground between the two governments.

As mentioned earlier, there are three points of common ground between the Japanese and Chinese governments in terms of promoting peace and friendship. Therefore, it is the common responsibility of both governments to confirm this common ground and to make diplomatic efforts based on it to establish a solid relationship of peace and friendship.
In particular, it is strongly demanded that both Japan and China refrain from actions that contradict the agreement made in the 2008 “Joint Statement,” which emphasized that they should be “partners who cooperate together and are not threats to each other,” and make sincere efforts to fulfill and realize this agreement.
Regarding the issue of the Senkaku Islands, both Japan and China must exercise strict self-restraint, avoiding actions to escalate tensions, and work to implement the agreement to resolve the disputes in the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands, through calm “dialogue and consultation.”
As for the multilateral framework for peace that Japan and China are involved in, the two governments should work together with ASEAN to focus on the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” (AOIP) as a common goal and engage in diplomacy to promote this direction.
The Japanese Communist Party emphasizes the above points and calls on both the Japanese and Chinese governments to work towards resolving the conflicts, tensions, and confrontations between the two countries and achieve a positive breakthrough in their bilateral relationship.
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