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Premier Calls His Coming Visit to Japan An 'Ice-melting Journey'
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Premier Wen Jiabao said on Friday that his scheduled visit to Japan in April will be an "ice-melting journey" for the relations between China and Japan, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "ice-breaking journey" to China last October.

Abe's visit was the first by a Japanese prime minister in five years. High-level visits between the two countries stopped because of former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's continued visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese class-A war criminals in the second World War were enshrined.

Wen told a press conference after the closing of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), or parliament, that he is expected to reach consensus with Prime Minister Abe on the contents of strategic China-Japanese relations of mutual benefits and set up a mechanism to boost bilateral economic cooperation.

"Both sides will also strive to promote scientific and educational exchanges and exchanges between the two peoples, especially between the youth and children," said Wen.
The premier said he hopes the two countries can build a friendly relationship of stable and healthy cooperation.

The two countries need to abide by the three important political documents and face history squarely and look forward to the future.

The three political documents, namely the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Peace and Friendship Treaty and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration, have stated the perspective for the future development of bilateral relations in the long run and in terms of a strategic sense, Wen said.

Wen also said China expresses sympathy to the alleged abductions of Japanese citizens, and added it is a matter between Japan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"I hope the two countries will resolve the problem smoothly through negotiations," Wen said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 16, 2007)

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