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Northeast Asian Personages Call for Cooperation
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Renowned politicians, entrepreneurs, scholars and cultural personages from China, South Korea and Japan Monday called for strengthening regional cooperation and promoting common prosperity and stability in Northeast Asia.


The call was made in Tokyo at the second Forum of Northeast Asian Prominent Figures, which was initiated by China's Xinhua News Agency, ROK's JoongAng Daily and Japan's Nikkei Inc. The annual forum, aimed at strengthening non-governmental exchanges, was first held last year in Seoul.


Japan's former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone urged the region to construct East Asia community based on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and "boost cooperation on energy, resources, anti-terrorism, prevention of infectious diseases and other fields."


"Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's 'ice-thawing' visit to Japan last week has achieved its goal," Nakasone said. "The ice has melted and I hope the water can turn warmer and flow through the three nations," Nakasone said at the forum.


Qian Qichen, China's former vice prime minister said in a speech, which was read by Xinhua's vice president Ma Shengrong on his behalf, that the three countries should maintain regional peace and stability together and boost mutual political trust, trade and economic cooperation and grassroots exchanges.


"Friendship and cooperation between the three countries will definitely go further through common efforts," Qian said.


"South Korea, China and Japan are close neighbors with a long history of exchanges," South Korean former Prime Minister Lee Hong-koo said, noting that exchanges and trade between the three countries have developed rapidly in the past two decades.


Lee said that the three countries are playing an even more important role in the international society and are actively contributing to the establishment of a new world order.


Among some 30 delegates from the three countries who attended the second forum are universities presidents, researchers, writers, leaders of enterprises such Japan's Toshiba, Toyota, China's HaierGroup, South Korea's Samsung.


The delegates will also conduct group discussions under topics including currencies, finance, and economic integration, energy and environmental protection, as well as cultural and grassroot exchanges.


(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2007)

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