Chen Binde (left), chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army, talks with Takashi Saito, chief of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' Joint Staff Office, yesterday in Beijing.
Chen Binde, the chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), met with his Japanese counterpart Takashi Saito yesterday in Beijing, as part of joint efforts to increase mutual understanding and trust between the two armies.
Saito, chief of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) Joint Staff Office, started his four-day China visit on Tuesday at the invitation of Chen. The visit is the Japanese SDF top military attach's first to China since the SDF improved its defense capability and shifted to a joint operational posture in March 2006.
The two sides said they have and will continue to exchange views on issues including the international and regional security situation, as well as building up defense and the army.
Saito will visit land, navy and air forces of the PLA during his stay in China.
Both sides said they hope the visit will push forward cooperative ties between the two armed forces.
Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura had stressed on Tuesday the need for continued and repeated exchanges between the two armies, including mutual visits by uniformed officers and warships.
"By conducting defense exchanges and military exchanges between the two neighboring powers and gaining understanding of each other, there will be a much greater sense of security," Komura was quoted as saying.
China and Japan have maintained healthy communications on defense issues over recent years.
Defense minister Cao Gangchuan made an official visit to Japan in August last year, the first Chinese defense minister to visit the country in nine years.
Japanese observers attended a military drill in Northeast China for the first time in the following month.
Last November, the PLA sent its first navy vessel Shenzhen to Tokyo for a four-day visit.
(China Daily February 28, 2008)