By Mei Jingya, Sina English
China's four biggest state-owned commercial banks will skip the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Tokyo from Tuesday, which immediately stirred up Japanese public uproar for the conspicuous absence.
Nikkei said the non-attendance is a protest against Japanese government’s announcement to “nationalize” the Diaoyu Islands. It worried that the soured relations between the world’s second and third largest economies could possibly trigger a new global financial crisis after the one in 2008 and the current Euro zone crisis.
Japan’s Jiji press said that the day Oct. 11 will mark the completion of a month since Japan’s “nationalization” of the Diaoyus, on which China’s stance clearly shows the “mutual trust” that nurtures bilateral ties since 1972 has gone.
Meanwhile, Beijing no longer considers the Noda administration as a negotiable rival; instead, it is patiently waiting for a new leader in office, who can be accessible to reason.
The Mainichi Shimbun on Tuesday also confirmed the no-show of Chinese banks in the Tokyo meeting. It pointed out that in the past two years, China’s central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Finance Minister Xie Xuren, along with many other financial officials and institutions, never missed the IMF and World Bank meetings of the years bygone.
On Wednesday, a Chinese government official announced that Zhou Xiaochuan and Xie Xuren have canceled their trip to Japan.
Analysts say Chinese finance officials’ absence, less than a year away since Beijing and Tokyo reached agreement on financial cooperation in last December, could have negative impact on mutual bond purchase between the two countries.
According to a Sankei Shimbun report, Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (lobby group Nippon Keidanren), in a rare move held a meeting with Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe Tuesday, which was interpreted as a signal that Japanese business leaders expect the ruling Democratic Party to step down soon in the general election.
Yonekura was quoted by Sankei Shimbun as saying Japan is currently faced with many challenges, including deflation and adjustment of energy policies, and the tension with China and S.Korea, especially the deterioration of Japan's ties with China, is "exerting influences on the economic circle”.
Yonekura expressed his hope that the Liberal Democratic Party, if elected, can improve relations with Beijing.
Albeit so, the hawkish Abe still holds onto his tough stand on China, at least in rhetoric, saying Japan did not show a firm determination to protect its islands, which was wrong and impaired ties with China. He emphasized that his administration would increase military spending and demonstrate a strong will to "safeguard Japanese territory."
At a press conference Tuesday, Yonekura expressed regret over deteriorated economic ties caused by Japan’s action and urged the Japanese government to solve the territorial dispute with China through a high-level dialogue.