Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Asem: Japanese PM Kan and Chinese PM Wen playing cat and mouse in Brussels!

Japan Coast Guard personnel seen here disembark Zhan Qixiong
Captain of a Chinese fishing boat arrested by JCG
Japan and China hot on territorial disputes

PM Kan and PM Wen met on the sidelines of the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting that opened Monday in Brussels. They met for 25 minutes after the working dinner. The meeting was not announced in advance. The leaders had earlier seemed to avoid each other during the summit, staying apart during a photo opportunity at the start of the meeting, with the Chinese leader pointedly avoiding eye contact with Kan.

Kan told his Chinese counterpart that the Sentaku Islands are integral part of the Japanese territory. Wen had a bigger picture in mind: "We should intensify macro-economic policy coordination, manage with caution the timing and pace of an exit strategy from economic stimulus, and keep the exchange rates of major reserve currencies relatively stable, promote economic restructuring, gradually remove the systemic and structural risks, enhance fiscal sustainability and build internal drivers of economic growth". Not sure Kan got the whole point in such a short time One plus One in a corridor of Brussels's 8th Asem. But he made it clear in a speech. Indeed Kan is under hot fire domestically for seeming to give in to China's demands to free the captain, and he made a criticism of China in a speech. "It is important to mutually respect shared rules of the international community, including those of transactions of raw materials and trade in order to deepen the mutually interdependent relations between Asia and Europe and to achieve mutual growth."

Voter support for Kan's government dropped to 49 percent from 64 percent last month, a survey by the Mainichi newspaper showed while recent Yomiuri Shimbun survey clearly shows that public opinion toward China has deteriorated severely.

No need to see too far to understand that this story between the Japanese authorities and China agitate the regional order at a moment when the US plays hard cards with Japan on the divisive Okinawa Futenma issue.

"This is the latest incident in a long series of destructive incidents" according to defense specialists sources.

Sources: Mainchi, Asahi, Xinhua, Afp, Reuters, Yomiuri, Reporter's notes.

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