“A decision by the Chinese central bank chief and finance minister not to attend International Monetary Fund meetings in Tokyo this week is “regrettable,” Japan’s finance minister said, as tensions lingered over an island dispute.
“We will take a wide view on communication with China,” Finance Minister Koriki Jojima said today after he was informed that his Chinese counterpart Xie Xuren and People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wouldn’t attend. He called China- Japan economic relations “very important.”
The Chinese move follows Japan’s decision last month to buy the islands from their private owner, a purchase that sparked protests in China and clouded a $340 billion trade relationship. The protests occurred as China, which begins a leadership transition next month, has been more forceful in making its territorial claims across the region.