Consensus role is highlighted

Updated: 2011-11-14 08:00

By Wu Jiao (China Daily)

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Consensus role is highlighted

President stresses value of dialogue, understanding to Japanese leader

HONOLULU - President Hu Jintao told Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Saturday that both countries should handle disputes with "consensus and understanding" for the sake of cordial ties.

Dialogue was essential to solving disputes, Hu stressed.

"Both countries have traditionally cultivated consensus and understanding in dealing with sensitive matters. This should be followed and preserved," Hu said.

It was the first meeting between the two leaders since Noda became prime minister in September and ties between China and Japan have fared better recently.

Relations between the two countries encountered turbulence in September, 2010, after Japan detained a Chinese fishing boat that collided with Japanese coast guard ships near China's Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

Ties began to warm when China sent aid to Japan after it was struck by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake in March.

Noda, in his meeting with Hu, said China's development means "huge opportunity" for Japan, and that ties are important not only for the two countries but also for the world.

"Both countries should look at the bigger picture and develop ties steadily," Noda said.

Japan is ready to work with China to enhance cooperation and relations, Noda said.

Noda proposed to deepen understanding between the people of the two countries, improve ties at the grassroots and also pledged to handle potential disputes properly.

Analysts believe that the meeting will enhance ties. Some Japanese politicians have pandered to the far right by being skeptical about relations.

Japan's new administration, some experts believe, will adopt a cooperative approach on economic matters but possibly be more cautious in other fields.

Mainichi Shimbun, a major Japanese newspaper, recently described Noda's foreign policy as "leaning toward a Japan-US alliance, countering China".

Despite taking a suspicious and critical stance toward China on strategic and security fronts, Japan is hoping to make economic deals with China, the second-largest economy in the world and Japan's largest trading partner.

In an interview with the Financial Times recently, Noda stressed Japan wanted a "win-win" strategic partnership with China.

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba will visit Beijing on Nov 22 and 23 in preparation for Noda's first visit to China, according to the Kyodo News Agency. Noda has already visited the US and South Korea since taking office.

China Daily

(China Daily 11/14/2011 page2)