Li Peng, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, arrived in Tokyo Tuesday, kicking off his eight-day official goodwill visit to Japan.
Li is paying the visit as the guest of Japanese House of Representatives Speaker Tamisuke Watanuki and House of Councilors President Yutaka Inoue.
In a written speech distributed at the airport, Li said that this year, the 30th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between China and Japan, is of pivotal importance for Sino- Japanese relations.
"The prospect of the China-Japan relationship will have an important impact on not only the fundamental interest of the two countries and two people, but also on peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world at large," he said.
Through such a visit at such a special time, Li said, he hoped to promote the traditional friendship and to consolidate and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas, in a bid to advance efforts made by both China and Japan for the revitalization and prosperity of Asia.
During his stay in Japan, Li will meet Japanese Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Diet leaders, heads of ruling and opposition political parties, as well as people from all walks of life.
Li's entourage includes his wife Zhu Lin, NPC Standing Committee Vice-chairman Wang Guangying and other senior officials.
Besides Tokyo, Li will also visit Toyama, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures.
(Xinhua News Agency" April 2, 2002)