There have been non-governmental cultural exchanges since the founding of the People's Republic of China. The forms included art performance, exhibition on arts and relics, academic and personnel exchange, etc.
Since the normalization of diplomatic ties of the two countries in September 1972, and with the development of the bilateral relations, the cultural relations between the two governments have been established and strengthened. As stated in Article 3 of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship concluded in August 12, 1978, “in the spirit of good neighborliness and friendship and in accordance with the principles of mutual benefit and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, the Contracting parties shall foster contacts and endeavors involving the peoples of the two countries with a view to furthering economic and cultural relations between the two countries.” On December 6, 1979, Huang Zhen, the Minister of Chinese Cultural Ministry and Saburo Ookita, Japanese Foreign Minister signed the Agreement for Promoting Cultural Exchanges Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Japan in Beijing. The two sides agreed to develop bilateral cooperation in the fields of culture, education, academic and sports. Through the concerted efforts of the two sides, cultural exchanges and cooperation have enjoyed all-round development. The recent years have witnessed the emergence of multi-channel, multi-facet, multi-form cultural exchanges at both the governmental and non-governmental levels. It tops all the cultural exchanges between China and the other countries with cultural links with China in terms of scale, scope, content and frequency.
The recent years have witnessed the emergence of multi-channel, multi-facet, multi-form cultural exchanges at both the governmental and non-governmental levels. Cultural exchanges have ranged from those art forms such as music, dance, drama, film, painting, calligraphy, library, museum, relics, archaeology, photography, Chinese folk art, folk custom, literature, mass culture, etc. to various fields such as education, press, publishing, broadcasting, television, sports, sanitation, science & technology, religion, architecture, etc. The cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have achieved all-round development. It tops all the cultural exchanges between China and the other countries with cultural links with China in terms of scale, scope, content and frequency.
The Chinese Cultural Ministry co-hosted large-scale cultural exhibitions with Japan named Touring Japan 1999 in September 1999. The Japanese Embassy in China hosted activities to mark the Year of Sino-Japanese Friendship and Culture. These activities played an active role in enhancing the mutual understanding and friendship of the two peoples. In September, 2000, cultural exchange between the two countries further deepened. China held a Chinese National Treasure exhibition in Japan which produced good effects.