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Chinese-Japanese PMs Hold Talks in Beijing
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing Sunday and said the two countries should keep friendly for generations to come.

"We should start from the overall situation of China-Japan relations and follow the world trend and the will of the people, and remain firm in keeping a friendly relationship for generations to come," Wen said.

Wen appreciated Abe's positive attitude toward China-Japan relations, saying that as China and Japan have reached a consensus on overcoming political obstacles affecting bilateral ties and on promoting the sound and healthy development of Sino-Japanese relations, the prime minister's visit to China was realized and a "window of hope" has been opened.

Wen said China-Japan relationship faced both new opportunities of development and lots of challenges as well.

While China-Japan relations have been basically "good" following the normalization of bilateral ties, they soured over former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's persistent visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese class-A war criminals of World War II are honored among the country's war dead, Wen note.

Wen stressed that to achieve the long-term stable and healthy development of China-Japan relations, the shrine issue must be properly handled 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 that is an important guarantee for pushing forward China-Japan relations.

The construction of China-Japan relationship should be based on the three political documents signed by the two countries and conducted in the spirit of "taking the history as a mirror and looking into the future", said Wen.

Wen made a five-point proposal on developing future bilateral relations:

Firstly, the two should materialize and maintain mutual visits by the leaders of the two countries, enhance communication and exchange at multiple levels and enhance mutual political trust;

Secondly, the two should continue strategic dialogue, take care of each other's concerns, and conduct in-depth research on significant issues concerning the improvement and advancement of bilateral relations;

Thirdly, the two should improve the economic and technological cooperation mechanism, work out mid-to-long term plan for bilateral cooperation in various fields and strive for a greater development of economic and trade relations;

Fourthly, the two should conduct cultural and educational exchanges, expand non-governmental exchanges and deepen the friendship between the two peoples, and

Fifthly, the two should strengthen consultation on regional issues, promote regional cooperation in East Asia and contribute to the peace and development of Asia as a whole.

As to the Taiwan question, Wen said Japan should keep its promise of sticking to the one-China policy and of supporting China's peaceful reunification.

Wen also reiterated that China adheres to the peaceful road of development. It was not an expedient measure, but an inevitable choice based on China's historical and cultural tradition, China's needs for development and the world trend.

China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and transparent defensive policy of national defense, and is devoted to building a harmonious world, Wen said.

China's development would not pose a threat to anybody, and China opposes hegemony and would not pursue hegemony, the premier said.

Wen expressed appreciation for Japan to draw lessons after the war and to take the road of peaceful development, hoping that Japan would continue its way along the direction of peaceful development.

Abe said that Japan sees its relationship with China one of the most important bilateral relations.

He said his country would continue to follow the principles and the spirit set forth in the three Sino-Japanese political documents.

Abe admitted that regretful things have happened amid the continuous increase of bilateral trade volume, exchange of cultural activities and personnel.

Abe said the Japan-China relationship is currently in a critical stage, adding that it's a common mission and responsibility for the two countries to make constructive contribution to the peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world at large.

To achieve that, Japan and China should build a reciprocal relationship that is based on common strategic interests, Abe noted.

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

The prime minister said Japan had brought severe damages and pains to peoples of Asian countries. He made a deep introspection of the past, and stressed that that stance would not change in future.

Japan does not glorify militarism or Class-A war criminals, Abe said, noting that he would properly solve the history issue in line with the consensus of both nations to overcome the political obstacles and improve the bilateral relations.

Japan and China are economically interdependent, he said. The bilateral political and economic relations should, like two wheels, move forward powerfully, so as to lift the Japan-China ties into a new high.

Abe said Japan would handle the Taiwan issue according to the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement. Japan sticks to one-China policy and does not support "Taiwan Independence."

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 in Beijing on Sunday, is the first Japanese postwar prime minister who chose China as the destination of his first official overseas trip.

(Xinhua News Agency October 9, 2006)

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