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Wen, Abe Hold Talks in Beijing
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held their first talks in Beijing Sunday afternoon, following a welcoming ceremony in Abe's honor.


Wen told Abe that it is in the fundamental interests of the two peoples to develop a friendly cooperative relationship between China and Japan.


This is an irresistible general trend and common aspiration of the two peoples, Wen said.


Wen said the two sides should set store by the overall interests of the Sino-Japanese relations, conform to the world trend and the need of the peoples and to further develop bilateral friendly relations of cooperation.


Expressing appreciation for Abe's positive attitude towards China-Japan relations, Wen said, recently, China and Japan have reached a consensus on overcoming political obstacles which hindered bilateral ties and on promoting the sound and healthy development of Sino-Japanese relations, and all these helped realize the visit, providing an opportunity to improve bilateral relations.


Wen said at the present sticking point, China-Japan relationship faced both new opportunities of development and lots of challenges.


China-Japan relations soured over former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese class-A war criminals in World War II are honored among the country's war dead.


Wen stressed that to achieve the long-term stable and healthy development of China-Japan relations, the issue of visiting the Yasukuni Shrine must be properly solved and the political obstacles affecting bilateral ties must be removed in line with the consensus reached between the two nations.


"Promises must be kept and action must be resolute," Wen said, noting that this is an important guarantee for pushing forward China-Japan relations.


Abe said he believes the future of Japanese-Chinese relations will have "no cloud", and he is ready to further the dialogue between the leaders of the two countries.


The talks will be followed by Abe's meetings with President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo later Sunday.


Abe, who took office on September 26 and arrived at Sunday noon, is the first Japanese postwar prime minister who chose China as the destination of his first official overseas trip.

(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2006)

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