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Japanese investors pin hope on trade growth after Abe's China visit
2006-10-10 08:58:24 Xinhua English

HANGZHOU, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Japanese investors in east China's Zhejiang Province hailed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to China as a "good start" for trade development between the two countries.

Washizu Koichi, Chairman and General Manager of the JFE Shoji Steel Products Co., Ltd, said that both countries are in demand of trade cooperation, which was influenced by the declining China-Japan relations.

In the first eight months of this year, Zhejiang has got contracted foreign capital of 300 million U.S. dollars, 38 percent down from last year.

According to the State Ministry of Commerce, Japan which had been China's largest trade partner since 1983 was reduced to the third place in 2004. The growth of trade volume between China and Japan from 2004 to 2005 was 9.9 percent, lower than the 25.7 percent from 2003 to 2004.

"It is harmful to economic development of both countries in the long run," said Koichi.

He believed that Abe's visit to China on Sunday after taking office is a signal for improvement of bilateral relationship and also good news for Japanese businessmen in China.

Ryoki Sugita, head of Nihon Keizai Shimbun, believed that harmonious political environment is the basis of economic cooperation. "Real friendship was established through exchange. Japan and China should have dialogue in case of any problems," he said.

Vice president of Hitachi Mito Engineering Co., Ltd Hachoji Takashi expressed his wish for peace in east Asia. "China and Japan should join hands to shoulder the responsibility."

Shinzo Abe's visit was recognized as a turning point in China-Japan relations as mutual visits between top leaders had been suspended since 2001. Enditem

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