Japan to support China in spheres of energy, environment

About 240 people from China, including government and business officials and researchers, are attending the three-day forum along with their Japanese counterparts, according to Makoto Sasaki of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

METI minister Toshiro Nikai said Japan had built up a wealth of expertise and technology in the energy and environmental fields, and was prepared to assist China as it tackles the environmental challenges posed by its rapid economic growth.

Nikai also thanked participants for attending amid restrained political ties over issues like Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to a controversial war shrine and a spat over underwater oil and gas deposits in the East China Sea, the AP reports.

Visiting Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said he hoped the two countries could build a "win-win relationship" to promote energy and environmental conservation.

China's double-digit economic growth has lifted millions out of poverty, but the country has struggled to cope with worsening air pollution and a big spike in oil consumption.

At the forum, the two sides agreed that Tokyo would share energy-saving technologies and its expertise in coal mining with Beijing, and accept Chinese officials for training in Japan, according to Sasaki.

The Chinese delegates are scheduled to tour Japanese power plants and recycling facilities on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Japan's Environment MinisterYuriko Koike and Chinese ambassador to Japan, Wang Yi, were also present at the forum, co-sponsored by METI and China's National Development and Reform Commission and Commerce Ministry.

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