Chinese and Japanese top legislators stressed the importance of strengthening good-neighborly relations between the two countries at a reception held in Tokyo Thursday evening.
The reception was jointly held by Japanese House of Councilors President Hiroyuki Kurata and House of Representatives Speaker Tamisuke Watanuki in honor of Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, who is here on a week-long official goodwill visit.
Speaking at the reception, Kurata noted that this year coincides with the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship.
He recalled Wu's speech at a reception on Aug. 9 in Beijing that long-term and stable Sino-Japanese relations of friendship are conducive to the peace and development of Asia and the world. "I share the view with you," he said.
Wu's current visit to Japan, following the meeting of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Russia in May, underscores the frequent high-level exchanges between the two nations, which is a great motive force for expanding the bilateral relations, Kurata said.
Whenever Sino-Japanese relationship reaches a crucial point, there is exchange of visits between leaders of the Chinese NPC and the Japanese parliament, which plays an indispensable role in promoting bilateral relations.
In reply, Wu said that as neighbors, China and Japan have consolidated their ties through increasingly close cooperation.
This year sees the 25th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which will usher in a new period of development of Sino-Japanese relations, he said.
His current visit to Japan at such a time is aimed at furthering the two countries' friendly and good-neighborly relations, strengthening exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese NPC and the Japanese diet, and increasing understanding, trust and friendship between the two peoples, he said.
Wu stressed the Chinese people are willing to join hands with the Japanese people to promote exchange and cooperation in various fields.
He invited the House president and speaker and diet members, especial young members, to visit China.
China and Japan should be good neighbors and good partners forever so as to make due contributions to the peace of Asia and the world as a whole, Wu said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2003)