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Former Japanese PM Reiterates Importance of Reflecting on History
The people of both Japan and China should uphold the spirit of "drawing lessons from history and looking ahead to the future" so as to continue to push forward their good-neighborly relations of cooperation, former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said Saturday in Beijing.

He told Xinhua that Chinese President Jiang Zemin said recently that it was important for the development of the Sino-Japanese relationship to draw lessons from history and look ahead to the future. Murayama said Jiang's statement made clear the future orientation of the development of bilateral relations.

Murayama said people who have no knowledge of history will understand neither the present nor the future. He said only if people use history as a mirror when looking forward to the future, can relations between Japan and China continue to develop in all areas.

He said that during his second visit to the Memorial Hall of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing on Saturday morning, he was deeply impressed by the fact that a lot of teenagers and young people were visiting the place.

He said the responsibility of developing bilateral relations in the future lies with the young people of both countries, and both countries should make their young people remember history and to draw on the lessons of history so as to hand down friendship from generation to generation.

In May 1995, Murayama paid a goodwill visit to China as Japanese Prime Minister and made his first visit to the Memorial Hall of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression at the Lugou Bridge in Beijing. He wrote down in the visitors' book his wish for "everlasting Japan-China peace and friendship."

In his meeting with visiting Chinese President Jiang Zemin in Osaka in Japan on Nov. 18, 1995, Murayama said Japan will build a future on the basis of a reflection on its history.

(People's Daily September 29, 2002)

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