Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to deliver a speech late this week on his country’s new foreign policy regarding China and other Asian countries, Japan’s media reported Monday.
Japan’s Kyodo News Agency quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano as telling reporters at a news conference that Kan will talk Thursday about principles of the Japanese diplomacy, at a meeting hosted by a group made up of ambassadors to Japan, former diplomats and others.
Edano said Kan’s speech, the first of its kind since a Japanese cabinet reshuffle last week, comes at a time when “the world is facing a watershed in history.”
The new diplomacy initiatives will be based upon Japan’s alliance with the US, and Kan will express his determination to deepen the relationship, ac-cording to the NHK news.
Kan plans to focus on establishing a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship with China, and on promoting personnel exchanges as well as economic relations.
The prime minister also aims to build “Japan and South Korea’s new era,” since last year marked the 100th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of Korea, NHK reported.
On the thorny issue of the relocation of a US military base in Okinawa, Kan is expected to announce the intention of his cabinet to reduce the burden on the people living in the island.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last week during his trip to Tokyo that Washington hoped to move forward on the relocation, but that the in-terests of local people will be fully considered.
Yang Bojiang, director of Japanese studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times that Kan and his government may seek a more balanced diplomacy when dealing with China and the US in 2011.
“When Kan came to power last year, he was under pressure from both Japan and the US to restore the political trust between Tokyo and Washington, which was seemingly weakened during the administration of his predecessor, Yukio Hatoyama,” Yang said,
Yang also noted that the right-wing forces in Japan had also pressed Kan to take a tougher stance on China, especially after the diplomatic row in September, which seriously undermined relations between Beijing and Tokyo.
“It was under the background that the Kan administration will seek to reaffirm Japan’s alliance with the US, while at the same try to improve relations with China without inciting domestic criticism,” Yang added.
Agencies contributed to this story