Japan PM says dispute with China could hurt economy: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 23, 2012 5:01 PM
Japan PM says dispute with China could hurt economy: report

(Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said violent protests in China over the two countries' ongoing territorial dispute could weaken China's economy and spook foreign investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

"China should be developing through the various foreign investments it receives," Noda told the Journal. "Anything to discourage that is a disservice to itself."

Japan and China have been at odds over a group of islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan. A decision by Japan to buy the islands from private owners contributed to a flare-up in the dispute, which has triggered mass protests in China.

The Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday that China has postponed a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of its resumption of diplomatic ties with Japan.

Noda, who is scheduled to make a speech to the United Nations General Assembly this week, addressed reports that Japanese companies are facing economic harassment in China, telling the Journal that "recent delays in customs and visa issuance are of concern." He said damaging economic ties between the two nations could hurt the global economy.

Noda also touched on his country's dispute with South Korea over so-called "comfort women," who served as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War Two. Asked whether he would consider providing South Korea new compensation for the practice, Noda said "the matter is closed," according to the Journal.

(Reporting By Nick Brown; Editing by Eric Beech)