Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said recently through a Japanese newspaper that Japan and China face a great deal of important opportunities to expand communication in all fields in 2008.
In his new year greetings published in the Jan. 1 edition of the "Japan and China," the organ of the Japan-China Friendship Association, Fukuda said the year 2007, which was the 35th anniversary of the normalization of ties between Japan and China, has been a year of great improvement for the bilateral relationship, during which leaders of the two countries carried out mutual visits and all kinds of activities such as those related with the "Culture and Sports Exchange Year" were successfully conducted.
Fukuda mentioned that 2008 will be the 30th anniversary of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship. He described the bilateral relationship cemented by the treaty as an iron bridge, which is harder than the original hanging bridge set up by the Japan-China Joint Statement signed 35 years ago.
The number of people shuttling between Japan and China everyday has reached 13,000, and events such as the Beijing Olympics in 2008 will provide more important opportunities to expand bilateral communication in all fields, Fukuda said.
He called for further cooperation between the two countries in the new year to make constructive contribution to the establishment of the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests and to the maintenance of peace and prosperity of Asia and the world.
(Xinhua News Agency December 24, 2007)