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Monday, 24th December 2012

Shinzo Abe holds first post-election press conference

Shinzo Abe held his first press conference following victory in the Japanese general election, and rising tensions with China dominated the discussion.

It is well known that the incoming prime minister wants to take a tough stance with China over the territorial dispute that has been simmering in the background for the past several months.

CNBC reports that he told those in attendance Japan's claim to ownership of the chain of islands in the East China Sea is "non-negotiable". He also vowed to stop the challenge made on the land by China.

However, Abe showed recognised that the matter must be handled sensitively, particularly as China remains an indispensible trading partner on whom the future prosperity of the Japanese economy lies.

He was quoted saying: "We need to use some wisdom so that political problems will not develop and affect economic issues."

It is likely that once he assumes office, negotiations with Beijing will be at the top of Abe's list, with this year of dispute also characterized by falling purchases of Japanese exports, including cars, within China.

Written by Mark Smith

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