Japan Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will be on a charm offensive in China on Saturday, the second day of a visit, following talks between leaders of the Northeast Asian rivals that resulted in a pledge to resolve a gas row.
Fukuda was to play a game of catch with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao before visiting an elementary school, feel-good activities that would have been unthinkable two years ago when China was rocked by anti-Japanese street protests.
Fukuda, who took power earlier this year, has said he would not visit Japan’s Yasukuni war shrine, seen by critics as a symbol of the country’s militarist past, softening the sensitive issue of Japan’s wartime invasion of China. [Full Text]
Read also Fukuda, Wen Pledge to Resolve East China Sea Dispute by Allen T. Cheng and Takashi Hirokawa, and Fukuda, Hu agree to seek gas rights pact / Exchange program to expand by The Yomiuri Shimbun.