People to people talk enhance mutual understanding

Updated: 2013-03-05 17:47

By Jiao Xiaoli (

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

When those attending the dialogue were introduced to Dr Kenichi Ito, he greeted us quoting Confucius: "Isn't it so good to welcome friends coming from far away?" which was particularly touching for the Chinese. Ito highlighted the theme of the forum in his welcoming speech: "Japan and China, the world's third and second biggest economy respectively, are economically interdependent. China has been Japan's largest trading partner since 2007 and Japan is China's second largest sources of foreign direct investment, second only to Hong Kong.

People to people talk enhance mutual understanding

Ending on an encore 

People to people talk enhance mutual understanding

 Dancing their way to higher education

"We need each other not only for development but for our very survival. There will be no winner in a trade war, let alone military conflict, between Japan and China. Therefore, it is of fundamental importance for Japan and China to prevent political disaccord from spilling over into economics and other fields. This points to the importance of our dialogue on topics such as the environment and energy."

In January, Beijing and other Chinese cities suffered from serious air pollution with consequences for health and public transport. Air pollution in Japan is better controlled. Professor Hirono mentioned that Japan had a similar experience with environmental degradation in the 1950s and through to the 70s. It took that long to provide cleaner air, water and soil essential to ensuring public health, he said. That was done by way of economic incentives and regulations as well as public campaigns promoting environmental awareness.

Given the importance now accorded to bodies including environmental NGOs in China, he voiced his optimism about China's pollution problems being resolved in the near future.

Japan, with its experience, could help China, he said. Such help could come through the likes of the Japan Forum for International Relations and the World Resources Institute, which are well positioned to facilitate such non-governmental exchanges, he said.