Tokyo-Beijing Forum Reaffirms Significance of Japan-China Treaty; Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Treated Water Release Both Discussed

Ichiro Ohara / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japanese Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi delivers a speech at the 19th Tokyo-Beijing Forum in Beijing on Friday.

BEIJING — The 19th Tokyo-Beijing Forum on Friday released a joint declaration saying that they reaffirmed the significance of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, ahead of the 45th anniversary of the treaty coming into effect on Monday.

The forum, which was held in Beijing and organized by the Genron NPO and the China International Communications Group, ended Friday. The declaration called on the Japanese and Chinese governments to resume inter-governmental dialogue. With the nuclear threat posed by Russia, which continues its aggression toward Ukraine, and North Korea’s nuclear development program in mind, the declaration stipulates that the forum will work on nuclear non-proliferation.

With regard to the release of treated water from the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant into the ocean, the declaration said that the concerns should be sincerely addressed.

At a plenary session on Friday, Japanese Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi delivered a speech, saying that the Japanese Embassy in China still received about 15,000 nuisance calls every day in response to the water discharge. “The deterioration of public sentiments toward each other’s country makes it difficult to pave the way for a constructive relationship between the two countries.”

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wu Jianghao repeated the Chinese government’s position on the matter in his video message, using the expression “nuclear-contaminated water.”

Neither ambassadors mentioned the fact that Chinese authorities had formally arrested a Japanese employee of Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc. At a press conference after the forum, there was a question about China’s obscure legal system. In response, a Chinese attendee countered that such Japanese people were quite rare and that Japanese should not be worried about coming to China.

This year’s forum was the first in-person meeting in four years and about 100 people, including experts and reporters from both countries, participated. They discussed such themes as economy and security. Next year’s forum will be held in Tokyo.

Ichiro Ohara / The Yomiuri Shimbun