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China Awards Japanese Friend 'Envoy of China-Japan Friendship'

The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) on Friday awarded Kyuhei Muraoka, chairman of the Japan-China Friendship Association, the honorary title of "envoy of China-Japan friendship."

The CPAFFC also held a banquet to congratulate Muraoka for his "unremitting efforts" to promote China-Japan friendship over the last 50 years, especially bilateral exchanges in sports, culture and other fields.

Facing the difficulties emerging in China-Japan relations in the past few years, Muraoka expressed strong opposition to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals of World War II.

"For his contributions to China-Japan relations, the CPAFFC decided to award him the honorary title," said Cheng Yongchang, vice president of the non-governmental organization, at the banquet.

Muraoka said he has participated in organizing Japan-China exchanges since 1955 and has always been thinking about promoting sports and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

"I will continue to do so in the future. I will devote myself to promoting friendship between Japan and China for all my life, as long as my health permits," said Muraoka.

(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2005)

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