China warned Japan’s new leaders to avoid “picking fights” with its neighbors, referring to the political intentions of Japan’s future prime minister, Shinzo Abe.
Abe must find a way to manage the disputes with Japan’s neighbors, the Chinese press comments.
China and Japan are in conflict over Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea, claimed by both countries.
“Japan now has a unique opportunity to reformulate its foreign policy and change its image in the neighbors’ eyes”, according to Xinhua news agency.
“An economically weak and politically angry Japan will not only hurt the country, but also hurt the region and the world at large”, it added.
“Instead of pandering to domestic hawkish views and picking fights with its neighbors, the new Japanese leadership should take a more rational stand on foreign policy.
Only when the world sees a cool-headed and cooperative Japan can the country ease into the vast network of trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific, the most promising region in the 21st century”, Xinhua added.
On the other hand, Abe holds on to his position, saying there is “no doubt” Japan owns the islands and that Beijing is “challenging the fact that (the islands) are Japan’s inherent territory”.
“Our objective is to stop the challenge, but we don’t intend to worsen relations between Japan and China”, Abe said.