Japanese prime minister says trust will be key to China's success

In an interview with CNN, Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe said China's economic prosperity will hinge on building trust, rather than tension with other countries. 

Denis Balibouse/Reuters
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos January 22.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said China's continued economic growth will require building trust, not tensions, with other countries, according to an interview broadcast on Sunday.

A steady Chinese military buildup over the last 20 years is a serious concern for countries in the region, Abe said in a CNN interview from DavosSwitzerland, where tensions between Tokyo and Beijing were on display at the World Economic Forum last week.

"For China to continue to enjoy economic prosperity, it needs to foster trusting international relationships, not tensions," Abe said on the "Fareed Zakaria GPS" program. "And it is important for China to understand this."

"Military expansion will contribute nothing to China's future, its economic growth or prosperity."

Abe's top priority since taking office more than a year ago has been reviving a sluggish economy, but he has also pledged to strengthen Japan's military in response to China's rapid military buildup and recent actions to back its claim to Japanese-held islands in the East China Sea.

Beijing's decision to declare an air defense identification zone in an area that includes the disputed islands triggered protests last month from JapanSouth Korea and the United States, which said China was trying to change the status quo in the East China Sea.

Abe seized on that point in Sunday's broadcast.

"It is also important for China to recognize that any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion cannot be accepted," he said.

The Japanese leader said he has no intention of countering China militarily, "but I am responsible for protecting Japanese waters, territory and Japanese lives and property. And I intend to exercise those responsibilities."

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.