With regard to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan as a ‘state guest’ next spring, I wonder if it is really all right to welcome him as a ‘state guest’ merely in a celebratory mood, pushing aside the various political issues that lie between the two countries.
At the meeting of the General Council of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), I said, “The relationship between Japan and China is said to be very good at the moment, and the worsening diplomatic relations between Japan and South Korea make it look like Japan-China relations are good. However, I wonder if it is really appropriate to welcome President Xi Jinping merely in a festive mood. The Chinese government’s ships and private fishing boats intrude into the exclusive economic zone and territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands almost every day. The issue of China’s development of gas fields in the East China Sea has not been resolved yet. Moreover, the South China Sea remains one of the most serious sources of conflicts in terms of security in Asia. I have no intention to refer to China’s domestic affairs such as Hong Kong and Tibet. Repeatedly, what I want to point out is that if President Xi Jinping is invited to Japan as a ‘state guest’ in a festive mood alone, and meet with His Majesty the Emperor without fully discussing these unresolved political issues between the two countries, what will the people of Japan think of it? How will the US government react? How will the people in the world respond? In my opinion, the LDP should urge the government to hold extensive discussion on these issues prior to President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan, and require the Chinese government to make efforts to improve the said issues.”
The General Council of the LDP is the highest and the final decision-making internal organization in the LDP, except ad hoc meetings such as the general meeting of LDP Diet members of both houses and the general assembly of the party. After waiting for the right moment, I expressed my views. Such an important diplomatic issue needs ample time for discussion, and we must act before the time runs out. However, there was no response to my comments at the General Council.