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Chinese, Japanese foreign ministers hold talks
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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Japanese counterpart Masahiko Komura held talks on Saturday, and both ministers expressed confidence in the further development of China-Japan relations.


Yang said the current China-Japan relations have maintained sound momentum and bilateral cooperation in various fields has made remarkable progress.


China will continue to pursue the good-neighborly and friendly policy with Japan and develop long-term stable cooperation based on the three political documents between the two countries, he said.


China is willing to make joint efforts with Japan to expand exchanges and cooperation in an effort to push for new progress in the China-Japan relationship, Yang added.


Komura said the atmosphere of Japan-China relations is good and the meetings between state leaders of both countries have forcefully promoted the development of bilateral ties.


Japan is willing to increase mutual trust in politics and security and facilitate bilateral exchanges and cooperation in environmental protection and culture.


On the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's upcoming visit to China, Yang said both sides should strengthen cooperation and make preparations for Fukuda's visit so as to ensure a successful visit and push ahead with bilateral relations.


Komura said Japan will keep close coordination with China so that the exchanges of visits between leaders of the two countries could yield positive outcomes.


Yang said the history issue and Taiwan question concern the political foundation of China-Japan relations.


He said he hoped the Japanese side could appropriately handle relevant issues in accordance with the three political documents and relevant consensus.


Komura reiterated Japan's position on the Taiwan question, saying Japan's stance remains unchanged.


Japan does not support Taiwan to "join the United Nations" and opposes unilateral change of the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, Komura said.


The year 2008 has been designated as the "China-Japan Friendly Exchange year of the youth" and marks the 30th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan.


Yang said he hope both sides could arouse the initiative of the people to carry on the friendship from generation to generation so as to ensure sound and stable development of bilateral ties.


On the East China Sea issue, Yang said maintaining friendly consultations is the only correct solution to the issue.


He said both sides should, on the basis of respecting the truth, seek common ground and narrow differences to jointly push for substantial progress in the East China Sea talks.


China and Japan have so far convened 11 rounds of talks on the East China Sea issue.


Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.


"They have exchanged views on the nuclear issue on Korean Peninsula, the Myanmar issue, and East Asia cooperation," said Mitsuo Sakaba, press secretary for the Japanese Foreign Minister at a news briefing after the meeting.


Komura, who is on his first visit to China since taking office as Japanese foreign minister last September, led a Japanese delegation to participate in the first China-Japan high-level economic dialogue held on Saturday afternoon.


The China-Japan high-level economic dialogue mechanism was jointly launched by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan during Wen's Japan trip in April.


The dialogue serves as a forum for the discussion of major bilateral economic concerns with focus on macroeconomic issues, energy conservation and environmental protection, trade and investment, and regional and international cooperation.


Before their two-hour closed-door meeting, Yang called Komura "an old friend of the Chinese people" and has long been devoted to promoting China-Japan relations.


"With the concerted efforts of the two sides, the first China-Japan high-level economic dialogue would make major achievements," Yang said.


Komura agreed with Yang and said he would work with Yang for new contributions to the Japan-China strategic relations of mutual benefits.


Komura and Yang also signed agreements on mutual cooperation in criminal investigations and on Japan's final batch of yen loans to China after their talks.


According to Sakaba, Japan will offer 46 billion yen (414 million U.S. dollars) in loans to China for the construction of seven projects on environmental protection.


(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2007)

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