Former Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka said he felt sorry for the Chinese people in a recent interview with Chinese media in Japan, criticizing certain politicians in his country for wrong decisions made over the Diaoyu Islands issue.
Nonaka, 87, also former member of House of Representatives and ex-Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party, had planned to visit China late September to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Japan. But the trip was forced to put off due to the soaring tensions between the two neighbors over a chain of islands claimed by both in the East China Sea.
Nonaka, who has long been dedicated to building Sino-Japan friendship and relationship, said the recent row is a pity.
"As Japanese, I feel disgraced. I feel terribly bad for the Chinese people and I want to express my sincere apologies to them, " he said in the interview.
The senior politician said Japan's "purchase" of parts of the Islands has undermined the two countries' mutual trust and consensus which has lasted for several decades.
He also rapped the Japanese government's improper ways in tackling the recent diplomatic crisis, which ignited the anger of the Chinese public who have staged widespread protests in many Chinese cities this week.
"The current political parties in Japan do not seem to be working in the interests of Japan and the Japanese people. They do not have the country's future direction in mind, and haven't realized the importance of maintaining friendly relations with neighboring countries. All of these are important missions for Japan's young politicians. Unfortunately, they only care about the election and votes. It's very sad, and I feel very disappointed."
Compared with his generation, Nonaka said the politicians nowadays always put personal careers first, instead of responsibilities and obligations to the whole nation.
Nonaka stressed Sino-Japan relations are of crucial importance. As for the Diaoyu dispute, he suggested the two sides strengthen dialogue and strive for a proper way to solve the problem.