Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the country aims to work closely with China in responding to growing demand for infrastructure in Asian countries.
Abe was speaking on Thursday at a welcome party for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at a Tokyo hotel, hosted by Japanese business organizations. Li was visiting Japan for the first time since taking office in 2013.
Abe said he agreed with Li during their talks the previous day to set up a forum for bringing together the 2 nations’ public and private sectors with the aim of responding to the huge demand for infrastructure in Asia.
Abe said he believes both countries stand to gain more from cooperating with each other than competing for overseas infrastructure projects.
Li called for active participation by Japanese firms in China’s Belt and Road economic initiative, which covers Asia, Africa and Europe. He said China wants to deepen pragmatic cooperation with Japan so the 2 countries’ development strategies can be linked effectively.
Li also said he believes China and Japan can complement each other in technological innovation.
He added that he wants to promote bilateral financial cooperation and ways to increase private-sector investment opportunities between them.
Li expressed hope to visit Japan again fairly soon and spend more time in the country, and said he has invited Abe to China.
Li added that frequent reciprocal visits by the 2 nations’ leaders will help deepen bilateral economic ties.