Forum ready to narrow gap in trust

Updated: 2014-09-27 20:18

By ZHANG YUNBI in Tokyo(

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Forum ready to narrow gap in trust
Survey finds pessimism in ties with Japan 
Panelists scheduled to start discussions on Sunday at the 10th Beijing-Tokyo Forum have underlined the urgency of increasing dialogue to ease the strain between the two neighbors.

They made the appeal at the welcoming dinner reception in Tokyo on Saturday. The forum is an annual large-scale bilateral symposium jointly sponsored by China Daily and Genron NPO, a Japanese non-profit organization.

Gao Anming, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily, observed that many of the participants said the relationship this year is "even worse than it was in 2005", the year the first Beijing-Tokyo forum was held.

In 2005, the ties reached a new low point when then-Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi paid a visit to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, which honors convicted war criminals from World War II.

Yasushi Akashi, former UN under-secretary-general, said it is time for the policy advisers to contribute wisdom at the forum - which takes place on Sunday and Monday - and "provide inspirations for the policymakers of both sides".

Yoriko Kawaguchi, former Japanese foreign minister and now visiting Professor at the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs in Tokyo, said "the lack of understanding is still considerable" between the two neighbors.

"Shaping a good relationship between China and Japan matters not only to the two countries but also the entire world," Kawaguchi said.

More than 200 influential participants from both sides will attend the forum on Sunday and Monday.