China and Japan will launch an economic partnership consultation mechanism within the year and resume the diplomatic consultation mechanism, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi agreed in Beijing Sunday.
The other four points of the six-point consensus reached by the two foreign ministers were: the two sides will jointly organize a "friendly environment week" in October of this year; China will invite 100 Japanese youngsters to visit China annually from the year 2004 to 2008; the two sides will continue their human rights dialogue; and Japan agrees to accelerate the process of the destruction of chemical weapons left by Japanese troops in China during World War II.
Tang said Kawaguchi's current visit to China, which began Sunday, is of great significance on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the normalization of Sino-Japanese ties. The great progress of relations over the past 30 years has not only brought important benefits to the two peoples but has also promoted regional peace, stability and development.
Tang said the development of bilateral relations has generated important inspirations and experience for the two sides.
Firstly, the two sides should insist on the Sino-Japanese friendship no matter what happens. Secondly, the two sides should maintain and strictly abide by the principles and spirit stipulated in the three China-Japan political documents, namely, the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration. Thirdly, the two sides should continue to expand economic cooperation and trade. Fourthly, the two sides should promote friendship between the peoples of the two countries.
China and Japan are both in a historical period of reform and development. The importance of Sino-Japanese relations is crucial in the context of the constantly-evolving international and regional situation, said Tang.
China greatly values its relations with Japan and is willing to work with Japan towards better bilateral relations according to the guidelines of "drawing on historical lessons and looking forward to the future" and the aforementioned three political documents, Tang said.
The Chinese foreign minister suggested that both sides should recognize the development and changes of the other side in an objective and comprehensive manner, explore new fields of cooperation and appropriately handle conflicts between the two countries, especially the issues of history and Taiwan.
On the issue of history, Tang said, it is a serious, disturbing factor for Sino-Japanese relations. If not handled well, it will have in the long run a negative impact on the normal development of relations as well as on Japan's international image, and will be detrimental to Japan's fundamental interests and long-term development.
"We hope that Japan will truly show courage and sincerity, and honor its commitments and the consensus reached between our two sides with concrete actions, so that China-Japan relations can overcome and surmount these obstacles," Tang said.
Kawaguchi said she agrees with Tang's comments. She said Japan will take "drawing on historical lessons and looking forward to the future" as the core idea for Japan-China relations. Japan will be committed to further efforts for the peace- and development-oriented friendly cooperative partnership between Japan and China.
She said Japan hopes to increase personnel exchange through different channels so that the two countries will maintain friendship for a long period of time. She suggested more dialogue between the governments of the two countries in order to discover and settle potential problems quickly.
The Japanese foreign minister said the Japanese Government's stance on the issue of history, expounded by former Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi in 1995 and the Japan-China Joint Declaration, has remained unchanged.
She said Japan was deeply regretful and wailful for the damage and pain it caused to Asian people. Japan will persist in its no-war policy and dedicate itself to developing friendly and cooperative relations with neighboring
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2002)