Xu Caihou, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, said on Monday that China holds a positive attitude towards defense exchanges with Japan, calling for more exchanges between young and middle-aged military officers of the two countries.
Xu made the remarks when meeting with a delegation of young and middle-aged military officers of the Sasakawa Japan-China Friendship Fund led by its general-director Yohei Sasakawa.
Xu said the Sasakawa Japan-China Friendship Fund is an old friend of China, which has made a great contribution to the friendship between China and Japan.
The exchanges between young and middle-aged military officers have played an important role in boosting mutual understanding and friendly ties of the two countries, said Xu.
He called for the two sides to take the occasion of the 35th anniversary of normalization of China-Japan diplomatic ties and push forward two-way defense exchanges, as well as bilateral ties.
Echoing Xu's remarks, Yohei Sasakawa said the exchanges between young and middle-aged Japanese and Chinese military officers are of great significance, which will further promote the relations between the two countries and the two peoples.
The Sasakawa Japan-China Friendship Fund, a non-government organization founded in 1989, has conducted the military officers exchange program over the past seven years, said Yohei Sasakawa, adding that he hoped to carry out more cooperation and in-depth exchanges with the Chinese side in the future.
Xiong Guangkai, head of the China Institute for International Strategic Studies (CIISS), also attended the meeting.
The delegation, invited by CIISS, arrived in Beijing on Sunday. Besides Beijing, their 12-day China tour will also take them to northeast China's Liaoning Province.
(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2007)