In any strained bilateral relations between two countries, among the first to suffer is the economic ties. As such, Japanese businesses are ensuring that economic ties with China may be spared from the political war their leaders are waging by helping China fix its air pollution problem.
In 2013, representatives from China’s Tianjin Foundry Forging Industry Association traveled to Japan upon the invitation of the Japan-China Economic Association, as part of “the cooperation network for abating China’s air pollution.” While in Tokyo, Wang Jiying, secretary-general of the Tianjin association requested for the cooperation of Japanese businessmen in finding a technology to cut back the levels of PM 2.5 in China as restrictions set by the government may keep them out of business. “As fellow Asians, we want to learn Japan’s experiences and technologies,” said Jiying. As part of their trip, the delegates went to a thermal power plant in Yokohama to study the technology used there.
While the main issue the association wants to address is the air pollution in China, they did not hide their hopes that working hand-in-hand may also help in improving bilateral ties between the two countries strained by territorial disputes since 2012. Companies including Hitachi Ltd. and JX Holdings Inc. are among those part of the cooperation network eager to address China’s environmental concerns. Aside from the Tianjin association, other Chinese companies from the five cities greatly affected by the haze including Beijing, Tianjin and Shandong have already expressed their desire to visit Japan and learn from the cooperation network as well.
[via The Asahi Shimbun]