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China and Japan Experts Seek Dialogue Ahead of Anniversary

About 100 experts from China and Japan have urged the neighbors to put bilateral dialogue back on track.

The experts participated in a two-day forum ahead of Monday’s 45th anniversary of a bilateral treaty of peace and friendship and urged in a concluding joint statement that the two Asian neighbors work together to ensure peace and security in the region.

It also called on them to deal with concerns stemming from the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, which began in late August.

In the wake of the Fukushima water release, the Chinese government, which opposes the discharge, banned all seafood imports from Japan. A large number of harassing calls believed to have originated from China were also made to many places in Japan as well as Japan-related facilities in China.

Japan’s Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi said in a speech at the forum that the embassy still receives around 15,000 harassing calls every day and stressed the need to settle bilateral rows by regaining mutual trust and holding dialogue at various levels, including summit talks.

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wu Jianghao said in a video message that the two countries need to immediately “stop the worsening trend” of their relations and “appropriately manage” confrontations and differences in order to stabilize them.

The annual talks were held in person for the first time in four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the gathering was overshadowed by confirmation on Thursday that Chinese authorities formally arrested a Japanese businessman over espionage allegations.

Yasushi Kudo, head of the Japanese nonprofit think tank Genron NPO, which co-organized the forum, said at the event that Chinese people are unaware that many Japanese nationals are wary of visiting China for fear of being detained. “Such a situation needs to be changed,” he added.

Source: The Japan Times