A delegation of Chinese lawmakers met with Japanese upper house legislators Friday, kicking off the first talks under a regular exchange mechanism designed to boost bilateral relations.
During the first round of meetings the two sides exchanged views on political security. They are expected to discuss bilateral trade, energy and environmental protection in the second and third rounds of the meeting in the following days.
Addressing the meeting, Lu Yongxiang, vice-chairman of China's National People's Congress Standing Committee, said that such talks help press forward bilateral relations and build mutually beneficial strategic ties.
Lu, who led the Chinese delegation, also said that the upcoming visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to Japan is significant and will help further improve the bilateral relationship.
Ogi Chikage, president of the House of Councilors of Japan, echoed Lu in highlighting the importance of the meeting, adding that she hopes the peoples of Japan and China would develop their friendship on the basis of mutual understanding and trust, so as to contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia and the world.
The Chinese delegation, which arrived on Thursday, has also met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Kono Yohei.
Beijing and Tokyo signed a memorandum last October on setting up the regular legislative exchange mechanism, under which the two sides will host annual meetings in turn.
(Xinhua News Agency March 24, 2007)