TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that Japan is ready to cooperate with China's "One Belt, One Road" cross-continental infrastructure development scheme under certain conditions.
Speaking at a forum in Tokyo on Asia's future, Abe said those conditions would include "harmony with a free and fair Trans-Pacific economic zone," alluding to the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, to which Japan is a signatory but China is not.
The One Belt, One Road initiative, put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, would involve massive investment to connect up both a land-based economic belt based off the ancient Silk Road and a maritime corridor spanning from China to Southeast Asia, India, Africa and Europe.
Xi has said he wants to create a "big family of harmonious coexistence" through the project, but skeptics see it as a bid to position China as a viable alternative to U.S. global leadership.
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