Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said that Japan and China should further build mutual trust and strengthen cooperation.
He made the remarks Wednesday in a speech delivered at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Kono said that the two countries realized the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1972, and the two sides have made unremitting efforts for the establishment of a stable and friendly cooperative relationship since then.
He said bilateral contacts are increasing on a yearly basis.
Kono frankly pointed out that there are still some problems in relations between Japan and China.
That is why the two countries must enhance mutual understanding and trust, he said, adding that it is also a strong wish of the peoples of the two countries.
He went on to explain that mutual understanding can not be promoted without expanding the exchanges and mutual trust can not be built without mutual understanding.
The Japanese Foreign Minister said that it is of vital importance for the two countries to recognize their differences and respect each other on the basis of understanding basic national conditions.
He called for the two countries to join efforts to build effective mechanisms to eliminate factors that hinder the trust-building between the two countries.
Kono said that the Japanese government maintains its view on the past war as manifested by former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995.
In the statement, Murayama expressed "deep remorse and a heartfelt apology" for the "tremendous damage and suffering" inflicted on "the people of many countries, particularly on those of Asian nations" through Japan's wartime "colonial rule and aggression."
The Japanese foreign minister also noted that militarism will never be allowed to rise again in Japan, since the Japanese people themselves are the victims as well.
China's development is indispensable for the peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, Kono said, adding that Japan and China should strengthen their cooperation in bilateral, multilateral, and global issues.
He named energy, infrastructure, information and telecommunication, and tourism as the areas of potential cooperation between the two countries.
The two countries should make more joint efforts to improve the environment in Asia, according to the Japanese foreign minister.
Japan and China can also participate in some regional programs such as the construction of the Europe-Asia continental bridge and the development of the Mae Nam Khong valley to make more contributions to sustainable economic development in Asia.
He said that the Japan-China relations should be viewed from the perspective of the Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.
He suggested that Japan and China join efforts with other related countries to establish a dialogue framework in Northeast Asia to safeguard the peace and stability in the region.
Arms control, disarmament, and nuclear non-proliferation directly concern world peace, Kono said, adding that the two countries should make more dialogue and exchange in these areas as well.