• Economy

Japan Business Delegation, Chinese Premier Li Meet; Both Sides Tout Importance of Bilateral Economic Ties

Pool photo / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kosei Shindo, who leads a delegation of the Japan-China Economic Association, left, and Masakazu Tokura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), center, meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.

BEIJING — A delegation of the Japan-China Economic Association met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday and agreed to deepen economic cooperation.

This was the first time in about four years for the association to meet with the Chinese leadership.

The delegation is led by Kosei Shindo, chairman of Nippon Steel Corp.

At the beginning of the meeting, Li expressed his recognition that “China-Japan relations are at an important juncture at which the two countries inherit the past and carve out the future.”

During the meeting, Masakazu Tokura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) said, “I hope for continued close communication between the two countries in economic, social and cultural areas, among others.”

The main issue in Japan-China relations has been barriers to business travel due to the suspension of short-term visa exemptions for Japanese nationals and China’s counterespionage law.

The visiting delegation handed over a proposal calling for transparency in the application of the counterespionage law and improvement of the business environment, such as the reinstatement of visa exemptions.

Li was quoted as saying: “Stability in bilateral relations is important. Differences [between the two countries] are manageable.”

Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Ken Kobayashi stressed the achievements of the meeting. “[Premier Li] repeatedly said that the principles of China’s relationship with Japan are peace, friendship and cooperation,” he said. “The meeting was rich in substance.”