Japan, China propose 'East Asian Community' similar to European Union

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Beijing, Oct 5(ANI): In a move that is considered to send shock waves around the world, Japan and China have proposed a plan to create an "East Asian Community," similar to the European Union, which could make a fierce force to reckon with and which would also improve economic and political relationships in the region.

The proposal is its initial stages and it could include visa-free travel, public health, energy and the environment.

In the later stages of the proposal, it is being said that political issues and common policies on defence and agriculture would also play a major part.

The alliance could become a big force in future, as Japan is currently the second-largest economy in the world, while China is in third place. It is also said that India would also join the league.

According to reports, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama put the proposal to Chinese President Hu Jintao during their first meeting, in New York on September 21.

The issue was again discussed during Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada's meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in Shanghai last week.

Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Studies at Temple University in Japan, believes that the two countries are now looking for an alliance in order to improve its economic ties.

"I think Japan is looking for a way to improve the atmosphere with China, show Japanese leadership and co-operation, as well as improve economic ties and resolve pending territorial issues," The Telegraph quoted Dujarric, as saying.

Contrary to what is debated across the world, Dujarric also believes that there are benefits that the West could reap from a closer relationship between Japan and the rest of Asia.

"The US supports the 'stakeholder' theory, that China has to be given a stake in the world order, and this would help," he said.

The proposal will again be on the agenda when the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea will meet in Beijing on October 10. (ANI)

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