The Fifth Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue was held in Beijing on April 14. This dialogue reminded me of my previous meetings with H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister. In 2006, under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s regime, there were conflicts between Japan and China over the Prime Minister’s official visits to Yasukuni Shrine, a Shinto shrine which commemorates Japan’s war dead. As I was serving as the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the House of Representatives at the time, I visited China to provide justification for the Japanese government’s responses to the Chinese government’s criticism on these issues.
I frequently argued with the then Ambassador Wang Yi regarding the said issues. He is now the State Councilor and Foreign Minister, and attended the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue in Beijing.
It was a long time since I had last met him. I briefly greeted him in Japanese, “It’s a long time since I last met you. I see you are doing well in your activities. Let’s do our best for our countries.” It was like two rivals encouraging each other.