Hatoyama, Hu discuss North Korea, gas field project
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36 / M / Toronto, Canada
Posted 9/23/09 , edited 9/23/09
Hatoyama, Hu discuss North Korea, gas field project

Tuesday 22nd September, 01:13 PM JST


Proposing forming an East Asian Community, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama agreed Monday with Chinese President Hu Jintao to deepen bilateral ties, work closely toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, and make progress on the disputed joint gas-development project in the East China Sea.

In their first one-on-one talks held in New York, Hatoyama, who led his Democratic Party of Japan to a historic election victory last month, proposed to the Chinese leader the formation of an East Asian Community for stable economic cooperation and national security across the region—a framework envisioned as similar to the European Union.

‘‘I talked about international relationship based on my ‘fraternity’ spirits, and I told him Japan and China should acknowledge and overcome differences and build relations of trust, based on which I would like to pursue the idea of forming an entire East Asian Community,’’ Hatoyama, 62, told reporters.

Hatoyama told Hu he wants to make the two nations’ strategic and mutually beneficial relations ‘‘more substantial ones,’’ according to Japanese government officials.

Hatoyama won praise from Hu with his pledge to support a 1995 statement by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama stating Japan inflicted tremendous damage and suffering on Asian and other countries ‘‘through its colonial rule and aggression.’’

The bilateral relationship has often been fractious due to differences over their historical perspective on past Japanese militarism.

The two leaders, who are in New York to attend U.N. meetings, also agreed to work closely toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, Hatoyama told reporters.

Regarding the controversial undersea gas field development near the sea border dividing the countries, Hatoyama told Hu he wants to transfer the ‘‘sea of problems’’ to the ‘‘sea of fraternity,’’ Hatoyama said.

He suggested that the two countries, whose ties have often been strained over disputed gas fields in the East China Sea, should forge a treaty to decide on details to get the joint project agreed on in June 2008 moving, and Hu proposed launching working-level meetings to boost mutual confidence on that matter, according to the officials.

The meeting as a whole was held ‘‘in a friendly atmosphere, in which both of us expressed what we had in mind,’’ Hatoyama said.

The officials said Hatoyama spoke to Hu without reading from documents prepared by bureaucrats, which had been the case under past administrations led by the Liberal Democratic Party.

The DPJ-led government is aiming to wrest power from central bureaucrats in the policymaking process, blaming a past overdependence on bureaucrats for wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money.

Lauding Hatoyama as ‘‘good, old friend of the Chinese,’’ Hu said to him at the start of their talks, ‘‘I hope and I am confident that China-Japan ties will develop more actively, ushering in a new phase for a more extensive development (of the relations under Hatoyama).’’

In their talks, Hu also played up that it is necessary for more frequent top-level exchanges to beef up the bilateral ties, according to the Japanese officials.

Noting that he met many times with Hatoyama when the DPJ was in the opposition camp, Hu said, ‘‘You have shown a consistent interest in the China-Japan relationship for a long time and have supported it.’’

Chinese media welcomed Hatoyama’s Sept 16 inauguration, as he promised to refrain from visiting Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japanese war criminals along with the war dead and is regarded by China and other countries as a symbol of Japanese military aggression.

The two leaders made no mention of the issue during their talks Monday, according to the Japanese government officials.

Hatoyama and Hu are likely to meet again on a bilateral basis when they hold tripartite talks along with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in China’s Tianjin, possibly next month.

Japan-China relations soured under former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi due to his repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine, but his successors—Shinzo Abe, Yasuo Fukuda and Taro Aso—concentrated on rebuilding the relationship.

During his six-day trip to the United States that began Monday, Hatoyama will also meet with other foreign leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korea’s Lee, and deliver speeches at a U.N. summit on climate change Tuesday and other international events before returning to Japan on Saturday.

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26 / under the same sky
Posted 10/3/09 , edited 10/3/09
I hope the new Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama will be a good PM to Japan...

his wife is a very fascinating woman
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