Former Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa on Monday said that anything done by politicians which could damage the efforts of building a friendly relationship between Japan and China would be considered a serious "political crime".
Niwa made the comments in his speech given at Japan's Foreign Correspondents' Club where he gave four suggestions to improve the current China-Japan ties.
Niwa said, first of all, the two nations need to firmly adhere to the principles of the 1972 joint declaration and understand that "if our two nations were to fight, we will both suffer, whereas if we both persue peace, benefits will be shared."
"Regardless of whether the government administration may change, the only way forward, is friendship... Regardless of how difficult, all of the people from Japan and China must walk through this past, there is no other option," Niwa said.
Speaking of territorial disputes, Niwa said it is better to " take a break."
"Normally there are three ways in dealing with territorial disputes in the international community. They are appealing to the international court, purchase of land and armed force. But none of these can be applied to the disputes between China and Japan," said Niwa.
According to Niwa, what's more important is to build a strategic and mutually beneficial relationship. He said countries could only cooperate when mutual benefits were shared.
The last, Niwa said, from the 55th Prime Minister of Japan Tanzan Ishibashi, who reached agreements with then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, to the 95th Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, 41 prime ministers of Japan have made endless efforts in improving the China-Japan relationship.
If anyone from either Japan or China damages the efforts over the past 41 years, it will be unacceptable, Niwa said.
"While the wise people learn from history, the foolish ones only think about their own interests. All of the people from Japan and China must become wiser people," Niwa noted.