The upcoming visit to Japan of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s navy missile destroyer "Shenzhen" will be a very significant event and the military exchange is conducive to building mutual trust between the two countries, said Japanese Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba on Monday.
It is important for politicians of the two countries to have political communications, however, the exchange between the Chinese PLA and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) is also important, Ishiba said during an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Ishiba said serviceman share the same way of thinking, and their building of mutual trust through exchanges and topic discussions is important for the maintenance of peace.
The first-ever visit to Japan by a PLA navy warship will be a memorable start, the defense minister said.
The mutual trust between countries is actually the accumulation of trust between the two peoples, Ishiba said, adding that he hopes Chinese soldiers will have meaningful exchange with their Japanese SDF counterparts, get to know more about the current Japan society, and have a nice impression on Japan.
Ishiba said he doesn't regard China as a military threat to Japan. "The two countries should strengthen defense communications in the future to eliminate misunderstanding and build up a relationship in which different opinions could be thoroughly discussed," he said.
Ishiba said it is important for the two countries to expand military exchanges. "Japan's SDF warship is to pay visit to China following the PLA navy warship's Japan visit," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2007)