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Hu Meets Japan-China Friendship Leaders
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Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Beijing on Friday that the seven Japan-China friendship organizations based in Japan, who are making a joint visit to China, were the "backbone" of promoting the friendly ties between the two countries.

These groups served as an "important bridge" for non-governmental exchanges between the two countries, said President Hu. They had done a lot of "helpful work" for the normalization of diplomatic ties and the promotion of friendliness between the two countries, President Hu added while meeting the heads of the organizations at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

Noting that China-Japan relations are going through a difficult period, Hu said that the Japanese organizations' visit and the exchange of dialogue with relevant Chinese bodies have displayed the "benign wish" of the two peoples to improve bilateral relations.

The visit would contribute to assisting with mutual understanding, friendship and relations between the two countries, said President Hu.

The seven organizations, which have come as the guests of the China-Japan Friendship Association are namely -- the Japanese Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Association of Dietmen League for Japan-China Friendship, Japan-China Friendship Association, Japan-China Cultural Exchange Association, Japan-China Association on Economy and Trade, Japan-China Society and Japan-China Friendship Center.

The heads of the organizations include former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and former Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2006)



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