METI’s Hirose to visit China to discuss macroeconomy

METI’s Hirose to visit China to discuss macroeconomy

TOKYO, Jan. 28 Kyodo

The Japanese industry ministry’s top bureaucrat will head to Beijing on Thursday for annual talks on the two nations’ macroeconomic policies, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said Monday.

METI Vice Minister Katsusada Hirose is slated to meet Friday with Wang Chunzheng, vice minister of China’s State Development Planning Commission, the ministry said.

Hirose told reporters that he expects China will broach areas where it wants Japanese foreign assistance to form part of its macroeconomic policies, as it did in 2000, when Beijing sought Japanese cooperation for its large-scale inland development program for western China.

Japan, meanwhile, plans to address investment conditions in China, METI officials said.

The one-day talks will be preceded by a working-level meeting Thursday between Takashi Suzuki, vice chief of the METI-affiliated energy agency, and Li Yan Meng, chief of the commission’s basic industries department, the officials said, adding Japan will likely offer assistance in natural gas and renewable energy projects.

The meetings were initially scheduled for last summer but were postponed when bilateral ties soured in relation to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s August visit to a shrine honoring war dead, including war criminals, and Tokyo’s approval of a school history textbook that critics say glosses over Japan’s wartime atrocities.

Hirose, who will spend five days in China, said he will also visit Liaoning Province over the weekend to inspect progress in Japan-aided information technology projects.

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