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Sino-Japanese 2006 Trade Volume Could Top US$200 Billion
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Bilateral trade volume between China and Japan could top US$200 billion in 2006, according to Chong Quan, spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce.

Japan is the second largest investor in China. Trade volume between the two countries in the first eight months of this year reached US$131.3 billion, 11.8 percent up from last year.

Chong said that he hoped the two countries could enhance cooperation in environmental protection, especially between small and medium-sized enterprises.

"Environmental protection is one of the major tasks of China's 11th Five-Year Plan, for which the government has earmarked US$500 billion, while Japan excels in garbage and sewage disposal as well as utilization of renewable energy sources."

He revealed that the two countries will hold a symposium on environmental protection next year.

Chong was speaking at the Eleventh Sino-Japanese Economic Symposium in Changxing County, east China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. The event was attended by about 500 politicians and businessmen from both countries.

"China has great potential in economic development while Japan has stepped out of economic depression," said Nikai Toshihiro, member of Liberal Democrats' Diet Affairs Committee, "so the two countries can seek cooperation in new fields for mutual development."

Ryoki Sugita, head of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Japanese Economic News Press), noted that an improvement in relations between China and Japan is the basis of economic cooperation. He said he hoped the two countries could resume their friendship.

The biannual symposium, co-organized by the Chinese government's mouthpiece People's Daily and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, closely follows the new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's landmark visit to China. The visit was hailed as a "turning point" in declining China-Japan relations.

(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2006)

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