Japan salutes President Jacques Chirac

12th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

TOKYO, March 12, 2007 (AFP) - Japan on Monday saluted French President Jacques Chirac for his "deep understanding" of the Asian country and expressed hope that he would keep working to improve relations in his retirement.

TOKYO, March 12, 2007 (AFP) - Japan on Monday saluted French President Jacques Chirac for his "deep understanding" of the Asian country and expressed hope that he would keep working to improve relations in his retirement.

"We would appreciate it if he keeps contributing to the good relationship between Japan and France," chief government spokesman Yasuhisa Shiozaki said after Chirac announced he would not seek a third term in office.

When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited France in January, Chirac "showed through his words and behaviour that he had a deep understanding and sympathy for Japan," Shiozaki told a news conference.

Since the 1970s, Chirac has travelled some 50 times to Japan, where he has developed a reputation as an enthusiast for sumo wrestling and Japanese art.

But Chirac has also clashed with Japanese leaders, particularly over his push to end a European Union embargo on selling arms to China.

Chirac, 74, said Sunday that he would not seek re-election in France's upcoming presidential election, ending a political career of more than four decades.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, President Jacques Chirac

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