On October 22, 1978, then Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping paid an official good-will visit to Japan, at the invitation of the Japanese Government, becoming the first Chinese state leader to visit Japan.
On October 23, he attended a ceremony to exchange the instruments of ratification for the Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty.
During his eight-day visit to Japan, Deng met with then Japanese Tenno (Emperor) Hirohito and then Prime Minster Takeo Fukuda, as well as other Japanese people from all walks of life who had long been devoted to the development of friendly ties between the two nations.
At a welcome dinner on October 23, hosted by the Japanese Prime Minister, Deng said: "Late Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai both showed great concern about Sino-Japanese relationships during their lifetimes.
"The two governments signed the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement in September 1972, when former Japanese Primer Minster Kakuei Tanaka and Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira visited China, thus marking the normalization of bilateral relations and opening a new chapter in the history of bilateral relations.
"Since the normalization, bilateral relations have made remarkable progress in different fields, especially after the two sides signed the Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty on August 12, 1978, based on the joint statement, realizing a long cherished dream by the two peoples.
"China is striving to build itself into a modernized socialist power. We need a peaceful international environment and we are willing to develop friendly and cooperative ties with all countries. Despite different social systems in China and Japan, the two countries should and can coexist in peace and friendship."
The ceremony to exchange the instruments of ratification for the Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty.
(China.org.cn, 17thcongress.org.cn, October 22, 2007)