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President Jiang Meets Japanese FM
Chinese President Jiang Zemin said in Beijing Sunday that the most important experience since the normalization of China-Japan relations 30 years ago is to draw on historical lessons and look forward to the future.

Jiang told Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, who began an official visit to China Sunday, that, although there have been ups and downs since the normalization of Sino-Japanese ties 30 years ago, the relations have generally seen great progress and brought significant benefits to both sides.

China and Japan have had exchanges for more than 2,000 years. There were times when the two countries learned from each other and lived harmoniously, but there were also times when Japanese militarists brutally invaded China, Jiang said.

"Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future," Jiang said. "Learning lessons from history would benefit both our peoples; not doing so, on the other hand, would be harmful."

Based on that principle, Jiang said, China and Japan realized the normalization of relations 30 years ago. The two sides should persist in applying that principle. Only by insisting on that principle, can the two sides fully grasp the entirety of China-Japan friendly relations and ensure a healthy and stable development of Sino-Japanese relations in the new century.

Jiang said the friendship between the two countries' peoples is a treasure for Sino-Japanese relations. At present, the two sides should promote that kind of friendship through more exchanges and contacts among the younger generations of the two countries.

Jiang said the younger generations of the two countries should be given opportunities to understand the history and reality of Sino-Japanese relations so as to increase mutual understanding and friendly feelings. That is a fundamental guarantee for the development of Sino-Japanese relations in the new century.

In late September this year, more than 10,000 Japanese people from different walks of life will visit China. Jiang said that visit will be an important event to enhance friendship between people of the two countries, adding that China will host the guests warmly.

Kawaguchi said she agreed with Jiang's idea of "drawing on historical lessons and looking forward to the future." She said the idea should serve as the basis for future Sino-Japanese relations. She said she would do her part in the development of Japan-China relations.

Currently, Japan and China have initiated dialogue and exchange among economic and cultural circles and among young people in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the normalization of relations. Kawaguchi said Japan expects those activities will help increase understanding between the two peoples and enhance the development of the overall relationship between the two countries.

(Xinhua News Agency September 9, 2002)

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