On January 25th The Financial Times reported that Natsuo Yamaguchi, a special envoy from Tokyo, met Xi Jinping, China’s incoming president. After the meeting, Mr Yamaguchi said that Japan believes tensions with China fanned by a dispute over a group of uninhabited islands can be successfully addressed.
Though he did not directly discuss the islands issue with Mr Xi, Mr Yamaguchi is head of the ‘relatively dovish’ New Komeito party, the junior partner in Japan’s ruling coalition. He added: “I firmly believe our differences with China can be resolved.”
He delivered a letter to Mr Xi from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and both agreed that it is important to continue dialogue with the aim of holding a Japan-China summit between the two leaders.
On the same day ABC News added further information:
“Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, China’s envoy to the U.N. in Geneva, told a session on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos that his country hopes the new Japanese government will face up to history and reality” and take the right measures to overcome the difficulty in relations with China and bring relations back on the track of normal development.”
“Yan Xuetong, dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, said he had ‘great confidence’ the two governments could solve the problem themselves without outside help: ‘I think that they can settle down this dispute within two years.’ “