The General Council of the LDP officially started to discuss the issue of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan as a ‘state guest’ at the meeting held on December 12. Mr. Seishiro Eto, Former Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives, pointed out some crucial points of this issue, and requested Secretary-General Mr. Nikai to treat it deliberately by the LDP as a whole.
Following Mr. Eto, I briefly expressed my opinion. My opinion in a little more detailed manner is as follows: “Nowadays, the Chinese government’s ships and private fishing boats are intruding into the exclusive economic zone and territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, and in the South China Sea, the government insists its territorial rights of many islands and their surrounding seas. If we invite President Xi Jinping to Japan as a ‘state guest’ regardless of these incidents, and arrange his meeting with His Majesty the Emperor, the government’s decision will not be accepted by the US, or the international society, or by the Japanese people in the first place. I am afraid that in March and April of next year, many more people will oppose to the idea of receiving President Xi Jinping as a ‘state guest’, and the political situation in our country will become unstable.
This event reminds me of the nation-wide movements against the revised US-Japan Security Treaty which was signed by the then Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi and the then US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington D.C. in early 1960. The movements led by an organization that formed under the title of People’s Council to Stop the Revised Security Treaty forced the Japanese government to postpone—actually, it resulted in the cancelation of—President Eisenhower’s scheduled visit to Japan. It is said that as many as 300,000 people joined in the demonstrations. Prime Minister Kishi announced to resign on June 23, 1960, the effective date of the new Treaty. The new treaty was named ‘Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan’.
If President Xi Jinping is treated as a ‘state guest’, taking this past example into account, the Japanese government should request the Chinese government to do their best efforts to resolve the pending political issues which I mentioned in advance of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Japan.” My opinion was supported by my colleagues including Mr. Keizo Takemi.
As a result, this meeting of the General Council concluded that the possibility of treating this issue as an urgent policy matter will further be discussed by a core group of the LDP consisting of Secretary General Mr. Nikai, Chairperson of Policy and Research Council Mr. Kishida, and other staff involved.