News / Asia

Japan PM Abe Wants Summit with China at APEC

FILE - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
FILE - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he wanted to hold a summit with China at the APEC leaders meeting in Beijing in November to improve relations strained by territorial and security issues, but drew a cool response from China.

Abe has been in office since late 2012 and has yet to meet Chinese leaders, despite worsening ties over disputed islands in the East China Sea, China's declaration of an air defense identification zone in the area and Abe's visits to a Tokyo shrine seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

“It is a great pity that we have not been able to have a leaders' summit,” Abe told a parliamentary committee.

“We need to return to the basics of a strategic relationship of mutual respect. I would like to have a summit in Beijing this November at the time of the APEC meeting,” he said, referring to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum annual summit.

China's Foreign Ministry said it had expressed its view on the issue many times already, though stopped short of outright rejecting the request.

“The Japanese side should take real steps and work hard to banish the political obstacles which affect the development of bilateral ties,” it said in a statement faxed to Reuters.

Abe also touched on the strong economic ties between the two nations and said that their relationship was unbreakable.

“While recognizing that even if our ties are strained, they cannot be broken, there will be problems between neighbors. For this very reason we need to maintain a relationship that keeps things under control,” he said, repeating that the door for dialogue with China was always open.

Japan has been locked in a territorial dispute with China over a group of East China Sea islets, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. Ships from both countries frequently shadow each other around the islands, raising fears of a clash.

Tensions escalated after China declared its air defense zone in the area in November, a move that also sparked concern from the United States and South Korea.

Abe's visit a month later to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, seen as a symbol of militarism because war criminals convicted by an Allied tribunal are honored there along with war dead, infuriated China and even drew criticism from the United States.

In an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun daily published on Monday, Abe refused to rule out another visit to the shrine.

“In the future, I hope to maintain my feeling of respect to honor those who have given their lives for the nation, but I would rather not say whether or not I will visit Yasukuni,” he was quoted as saying.

Abe also brushed off reports that Masahiko Komura, a top ruling party official and former foreign minister, had told China he would not go to the shrine again.

“That was Mr. Komura's thought. I don't know about it,” he added.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs