Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Jakarta Saturday Japan should seriously reflect over its wartime history and properly handle the current difficult situation in the Sino-Japanese relations.
During talks with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sideline of the Asian-African summit in Jakarta, Hu said some deeds by the Japanese side recently has breached its commitment to its attitude toward its wartime history and to the Taiwan question in addition to visits to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, thus falling away from the political basis for the Sino-Japanese relations.
Earlier this month, Japan's education ministry approved revised history textbooks, which have been criticized by some Asian countries for distorting history and whitewashing Japan's colonial rules and wartime atrocities. The textbook issue triggered protests in Asian countries including China and South Korea.
Hu said such deeds by Japan had hurt deeply the feelings of the Chinese people and peoples of other Asian nations, and had aroused discontent among them.
The president said both China and Japan are countries with huge influence in Asia and across the world, adding that soured ties are not only detrimental to the two countries but also affect stability and development of Asia and the world at large.
Hu said the Chinese side will not change the guidelines of developing friendly cooperative relations with Japan. He urged Japan to properly handle the current difficult situation and take concrete measures to push Sino-Japanese relations back to the track of healthy and stable development.
Hu initiated five proposals on developing the Sino-Japanese relations.
First, the Japanese government should strictly abide by the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the Peace and Friendship Treaty, and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration, take specific actions to forge a friendly and cooperative relationship with China facing the 21st century.
Secondly, the Japanese government should regard history as a mirror to reflecting on its wartime past. The aggression by the Japanese militarists against China in the 1930s and 40s brought tremendous loss and suffering to the Chinese people.
Remorse expressed for Japan's aggression against China and other Asian countries should be translated into action and no move should be made to hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and the people of other Asian countries again.
The Japanese side should take a serious and conscientious attitude toward the history, and deal with historic problems in a serious and sincere manner.
Thirdly, the Taiwan question should be correctly handled. The issue lies in the core of China's interest, involves the national sentiment of 1.3 billion Chinese people. China hopes the Japanese side fulfill its commitments by demonstrating through concrete actions its adherence to the one-China policy and opposition to Taiwan independence.
Fourthly, differences between the two nations need to be resolved through dialogues and peaceful negotiations. The two governments should actively work together to protect the relations from being hurt again.
Fifthly, the two countries should further strengthen communication and cooperation in various areas, encourage friendly contacts and activities between the two peoples, so as to further increase understanding and broaden mutual benefits, pushing the Sino-Japanese relations forward in a healthy and stable pace.
For his part, Koizumi stressed the importance of the development of Sino-Japanese friendship, saying it is not only beneficial to China and Japan, but also has great influence in Asia and the international community.
The rapid development of China is a chance rather than a threat to Japan and this has gradually been accepted by more and more Japanese people, he said.
The prime minister said Japan will take vigorous actions to promote the friendly cooperative relationship between China and Japan in the spirit of President Hu's five proposals.
On the questions of history and Taiwan, Koizumi said the Japanese government will adhere to the principles laid out in the three documents signed between Japan and China and his government's stance has been maintained without any change.
Koizumi said he fully agreed with President Hu' proposal on resolving all the disputes between the two countries through dialogue.
At the end of the closed door talks, President Hu expressed his hope that the two countries will regard the meeting as a turning point and take feasible measures to solve disagreements, surmount difficulties and make joint efforts to push the bilateral relation to develop healthily and steadily.
(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2005)