Japan told to end indiscreet comments

Updated: 2016-04-27 02:48

By CAI HONG in Tokyo and WANG QINGYUN in Beijing(China Daily)

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China said on Tuesday it has noted Japan's positive tone over bilateral ties, but warned Tokyo to stop making indiscreet comments on issues including the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks after Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida delivered a speech on Sino-Japanese relations on Monday.

Kishida said he will pay a visit to China. The visit, starting on Friday, will be his first formal visit to the country since the administration of Shinzo Abe took office in December 2012.

Relations between the two countries nose-dived after Japan moved to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012.

Kishida said in his speech "the only choice" for the two countries is to try to contribute to the world through friendship and cooperation, and that he hopes to contribute to establishing China-Japan relations that "suit the new times".

Kishida called on the two countries to expand cooperation and improve understanding and trust between their peoples.

Hua said that China hopes Japan will match its deeds with "positive information" Kishida delivered in his speech, and make effective efforts to improve bilateral ties.

However, Beijing "regrets to see that Japan is still commenting indiscreetly on China over some issues".

Kishida had voiced "worry" over what he called China's "fast and opaque increase in military spending" and its activities in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

Hua said: "China has been sticking to the path of peaceful development and pursues defensive national defense policies. Its strategic purpose is transparent."

Japan, as a country outside the South China Sea region, "should get its position and attitude right and stop making indiscreet judgments on China", Hua said.

She emphasized that China's activities in the East China Sea and the South China Sea have been "totally legitimate and lawful".

Lyu Yaodong, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Japanese Studies, said Kishida's comments reflect a four-point agreement China and Japan reached in November 2014. Under this, both countries agreed to gradually resume political, diplomatic and security dialogue through various multilateral and bilateral channels, and to try to establish political mutual trust.

"I hope Japan will effectively honor the comments made by Kishida in his speech. China has been easing and improving bilateral relations with the utmost sincerity," he said.

Contact the writer at wangqingyun@chinadaily.com.cn