The Minister of Japan's Embassy in Beijing Ide gave an interview to China.org.cn on April 5 and stated that the Japanese government aims to build a friendly relationship with China in the fields of politics, economy and culture.
Ide praised the success of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ice-breaking visit to China in last October, and said it showed the importance both Japan and China place in strong bilateral relations.
Addressing Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan this week, the first such trip in seven years for a Chinese premier, Ide said that the Japanese government and people both welcomed the visit and all future governmental and personnel exchanges.
Turning to Chinese citizens wanting to work or study in Japan, Ide said that Japan would be overjoyed to welcome talented Chinese sci-tech personnel. He cited the example of Dalian City in Liaoning Province as having put forth many computer technicians who ply their trade in Japan.
However, he admitted that for most people simply wishing to work in the country, obtaining a Japanese visa would be very difficult.
Ide also said that although Japan would provide a warm welcome to bright young people, some procedures were unavoidable. For example, when applying to a Japanese university, both a qualification and a banking guarantee must be provided. He also warned against providing fake documents to avoid further complications and inevitable troubles.
As to the China-Japan Year of Cultural and Sports Exchanges, Ide revealed that Japanese business and cultural leaders had formed an executive committee for the occasion to team up with the Chinese committee, led by Sun Jiazheng, Minister of Culture, with input from seven ministries and departments. On March 13, a concert gathering both Chinese and Japanese pop stars was held in Beijing while a Japanese film festival has also been held in the Wangfujing area of Beijing. A final example was provided by Rin, a famed Japanese group which combine traditional and modern musical elements, and completed a successful tour of Beijing, Shanghai and Xi'an last month.
The highlight of the year will come in September during the precise 35th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship. "The Japanese government places high value on this occasion and some VIPs from Japan will be on hand to further bilateral communication," said Ide.
He also hoped that the warming of relations seen of late would be secured in the future by the bonds created between young people from China and Japan during these activities.
Ide revealed that through the Chinese Ministry of Education, the China-Japan Friendship Association and the two Foreign Ministries, around 1,000 Chinese high school students had visited Japan either for a brief week stay or for a year-long study. They were welcomed in local families and thus gained new insights and experiences, a common bond they share with their Japanese peers living in Chinese families. Ide also revealed that the program would be ramped up this year to cover more families.
Proof was offered for Ide, when he spoke to Japanese students having completed their stay in China since they now saw China in a different light, proving the necessity of direct communication.
Turning to the Olympics, Ide gave his support to Beijing, saying that "holding an Olympic Games is a great impetus for the further development of a country's economy and the improvement of national power. So, in my opinion, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will have great impact on economic development of China."
According to him, the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games and the Shinkansen (the high-speed railway) opened in the year stood as towering examples of the Japanese economic boom.
He expressed his belief that many Japanese would visit China for the Olympics. In helping to achieve this goal, the Japanese Embassy to China recently invited some staff members of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad to brief Japanese media and travel agencies on food, accommodation and transportation details during the Olympic Games.
(China.org.cn April 9, 2007)