Chinese, Japanese PMs Meet in Beijing

China hopes Japan will appropriately handle the history issue and adhere to the One-China principle, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji said Monday in a meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

During the meeting, Zhu said that when the Sino-Japanese ties encountered difficulties, Koizumi made the importanr decision to visit China.

On arriving in China, Koizumi went to the Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge) to visit the Memorial Hall of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

By doing so, Koizumi understood the terrible sufferings the Japanese aggression had caused the Chinese people and these sufferings were still not forgotten, Zhu said.

"If this issue is not properly settled, relations between Japan and some neighbors in Asia including China will not be substantially improved," Zhu said.

He said that President Jiang Zemin has on many occasions stressed the importance of "taking the history as a mirror and looking forward to the future" in dealing with Sino-Japanese relations.

"When I visited Japan last year, I reached consensus with the Japanese government and the people from all walks of life in Japan, " Zhu said.

"However, this year, problems related to the textbook issue and the Yasukuni Shrine visit came straight after each other, which aroused strong response from the peoples in Asian countries," Zhu said, stressing that China hopes the Japanese side will adopt a correct attitude toward these problems.

Zhu pointed out that the Chinese government values its ties with Japan. Friendly cooperation between China and Japan is not only in the interest of both the Chinese and Japanese peoples, but is beneficial to the peace and development of Asia and the world.

He went on to say that in 1998, President Jiang Zemin visited Japan. He and the then Japanese Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo promised to establish a friendly cooperative partnership devoted to peace and development.

"When I visited Japan last year, the two sides agreed to further expand coordination and cooperation in various fields," he added.

Zhu said next year will mark the 30th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan and hoped Japan would take this opportunity to honor the principles of the Sino-Japanese joint declaration and safeguard the general development of Sino-Japanese relations.

"China is willing to join hands with Japan to move forward to friendly cooperation between both parties," Zhu said.

Koizumi, for his part, thanked Premier Zhu for the meeting. He said that this was the first time he had visited the Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge), and the Memorial Hall of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

Learning the history of the aggression is not only for the current situation, but also for the future, Koizumi said, noting that thinking about that history is vital to the Japan-China relations as well as to Japan's relations with other Asian countries.

Japan values the Japan-China relations, and exchanges in the political, economic, trade and cultural fields should be strengthened, Koizumi added.

(Xinhua News Agency 10/09/2001)

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