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Hu Highlights Improvement of China-Japan Relations
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President Hu Jintao yesterday highlighted the upturn in China-Japan relations, saying the two countries need to fulfill their pledge to advance bilateral relations.

Hu made the remarks during a meeting with Japan's House of Councilors President Chikage Ogi, who is on a three-day visit to Beijing.

Ogi's visit comes a week after Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first Japanese leader to visit China in five years, held talks with Chinese leaders in Beijing, a visit President Hu described as a "turning point" in diplomatic relations.

China and Japan reached a consensus on overcoming the political obstacles affecting bilateral relations and promoting development of friendly cooperation, said Hu.

"China will work with Japan to implement the important consensus reached by the two sides and push forward China-Japan relations in a stable and healthy manner," Hu told Ogi.

Ogi and China's top legislator Wu Bangguo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Monday, officially launching a regular exchange mechanism between the two countries' top legislative bodies.

Hu said the parliamentary exchanges were an important part of China-Japan friendly cooperation and would offer a new platform for discussions between the legislatures.

Japan highly values relations with China, said Ogi, the first female upper house president in Japanese history, adding Sino-Japanese friendship will not only benefit the two nations, but also contribute to peace and stability in Asia and the world.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2006)

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