China said on Wednesday that further development of China-Japan ties is in the fundamental interests of the two nations and two peoples and the development momentum of bilateral ties will see continuous growth.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu made the remarks when commenting on the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe played an active and constructive role in developing China-Japan ties, which have scored tangible improvement thanks to the efforts made by both the Chinese and Japanese governments and peoples from all walks of life, Jiang said.
Abe offered his resignation Wednesday at a press conference held at his office, less than a month after he reshuffled the Cabinet following a crushing defeat of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in parliamentary election.
"I made my determination today to step down," Abe told the press conference.
Abe said that he quitted "to have the war against terror continued," since as long as he is premier, the opposition leader would not agree to talk over the extension of Japan's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.
It would be better to have a new prime minister pursue the matter, he said. Abe also said that he had difficulty in implementing policies and gathering public support.
Abe quitted his post as the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and effectively the post of prime minister.
However, Abe will continue act as premier until the ruling party selects a new leader "in at least a month," Kyodo News quoted a LDP official as saying.
Abe, who took office on September 26 last year, has been plagued by a series of scandals involving his Cabinet ministers, pension recording errors, as well as a crushing defeat in July's upper house election which cost the LDP's decades-long dominance in the chamber. The support rate for Abe dropped below 30 percent after the election and has remained low.
On August 27, Abe reshuffled the Cabinet and replaced the members with veteran politicians to regain public trust. However, in less than a week, the new Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Takehiko Endo resigned over a scandal involving a farmers' group that he heads. The internal affairs minister Hiroya Masuda admitted on Saturday an error in his own political fund report.
Abe hinted at resignation at a press conference after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on Sunday in Sydney, saying that " I have no intention of clinging to my duties" as prime minister if he cannot have the parliament agree the extension of the refueling mission for US-led anti-terrorism operations before it expires November 1.
During a 62-day extraordinary Diet session started on Monday, the ruling bloc and oppositions led by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will debate the issue on anti-terrorism law extension, which authorizes the dispatch of Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessels to provide refueling support for the anti-terrorism operations. The DPJ, who now has majority votes in the House of Councilors, has repeated its opposition to prolonging the law, which was originally enacted in October 2001 after the September 11 attacks on the US and has been extended three times.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2007)