The Japanese government has planned to support China’s Belt and Road Initiative by offering financial assistance through private-sector partnerships. As per the reports from the Nikkei, it was a part of Japan’s efforts to strengthen bilateral ties with its neighbor, China.
According to guidelines given by the Japanese government, cooperation will be focused on environmental sector, logistics, and industrial modernization. Moreover, assistance will be given through government-supported financial institutions for encouraging cooperation between private Chinese and Japanese firms working together on projects in third-party countries.
Belt and Road Initiative is a comprehensive plan of Chinese President Xi Jinping to link Asia with Europe and Middle East countries. However, critics suggest that this initiative is about expanding the influence of China. Japan has been cautious about plans of China to spread its influence, but the country has shown interest in supporting the initiative.
According to Kyodo News, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed Japanese and Chinese business executives this week and told them that he believed “Japan will be able to cooperate well with China.”
Abe met Xi during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November. He highlighted that the two had begun to make a “fresh start” to consolidate relationship between the two nations. The relationship had been beleaguered due to a long territorial conflict over a cluster of East China Sea islets.
The Japanese Prime Minister had suggested visiting China at the right time. His visit would be followed by a visit by Chinese President to Japan.
This initiative might be about increasing Chinese influence or linking other regions, but the support from Japan would definitely help in strengthening ties.