Published in the International Herald Tribune on November 21, 2012.
Over the past decade or more, global security concerns have focused on developments in the Middle East, and the situation there remains worryingly volatile. Recently, however, the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region has also become increasingly unstable and is causing growing concern, as is evident from the U.S. strategic rebalancing toward the region. As a democracy in Asia, Japan has been contributing to peace and prosperity of the entire world, founding on our alliance with the United States.
Following the presidential election in the United States, new leadership has now taken helm of China. Japan's relationship with neighboring China represents one of Japan's most important bilateral relationships. The government of Japan hopes to enhance its relations with China's new leadership.
On the other hand, it is a fact that tension exists between the two countries over the Senkaku Islands. As seen in media reports, large-scale anti-Japan demonstrations have taken place throughout China, and Japanese companies that were attacked are now suffering well over $100 million in total damages and losses.
Nevertheless, Japan has been consistently dealing with the situation with composure. We will continue to promote the "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" between Japan and China from a broad perspective. Japan has been reiterating that China's development is an opportunity for the global community, including Japan. This position will remain unchanged.