Japanese candidate seeks closer China ties


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Japan's FM vows to mend ties with China, S.Korea if he wins premiership

Tokyo, Aug. 23 (AP): Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has damaged Japan's ties 
with the rest of Asia by visiting a Tokyo war shrine, and the next prime 
minister should urgently repair relations with its neighbors, a candidate to 
replace Koizumi said on Wednesday.

Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, who is running to lead the ruling party _ 
and therefore the nation _ in elections next month, reiterated his vow not to 
continue Koizumi's annual trips to the Yasukuni war shrine if elected.

``Yasukuni is a major obstacle in the way to develop ties with Asian nations,'' 
Tanigaki said. ``The next Prime Minister should not damage Japan's ties with 
Asia or weaken its leadership in the region by visiting the shrine.''

Yasukuni honors Japan's 2.5 million war dead, including war criminals from World
War II, and is accused of glorifying the country's militarist past. China and 
South Korea have refused to hold summits with Koizumi over the visits.

Tanigaki said that as Prime Minister, he would push for annual three-way summits
among the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea, and install an ``Asian hot 
line'' for quick and easy communications between them.

``We must urgently resolve this abnormal situation, and the three leaders should
reaffirm that we are indispensable partners,'' Tanigaki said. ``I will put 
Japan's Asian diplomacy back to normal and contribute to regional prosperity.''

In recent public polls, Tanigaki has lagged far behind Chief Cabinet Secretary 
Shinzo Abe, the front-runner in the race, and has been polled just above another
contender, Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who officially announced his candidacy on 
Monday. Abe is expected to make a policy speech early next month in which he is 
likely to officially announce his candidacy.

Abe, a hawkish lawmaker, has staunchly backed Koizumi's shrine visits and 
reportedly secretly worshipped at the shrine in April. He did not deny the 
report, in a sign that he may follow Koizumi's path if he becomes prime 

Aso, meanwhile, takes a more cautious stance. He proposed making the shrine a 
secular institution and putting it under the control of the state, allowing 
Parliament to decide who is honoured there.

Escaping the Matrix website     http://escapingthematrix.org/
cyberjournal website            http://cyberjournal.org
subscribe cyberjournal list     mailto:•••@••.•••
Posting archives                http://cyberjournal.org/show_archives/
  cyberjournal forum            http://cyberjournal-rkm.blogspot.com/
  Achieving real democracy      http://harmonization.blogspot.com/
  for readers of ETM            http://matrixreaders.blogspot.com/
  Community Empowerment http://empowermentinitiatives.blogspot.com/
  Blogger made easy             http://quaylargo.com/help/ezblogger.html