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Premier Wen Meets with Japanese Parliament Leaders
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Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday met with Japanese House of Representatives Speaker Yohei Kono and House of Councilors President Chikage Ogi to discuss friendly ties between the two countries.

In his talks with the Speaker, Wen expressed appreciation for Kono's active role in promoting friendship and bilateral ties.

"China-Japan relations are now at a crucial moment. We should take the opportunities, overcome difficulties and make common efforts to ensure long-term, healthy and stable development of bilateral ties," Wen said.

The Chinese premier hoped the legislatures of both counties will enhance exchanges, especially between the young politicians, to make fresh contributions to building friendship and cooperation between the two peoples.

Kono said the three political documents are the basis for bilateral ties. The Japanese parliament is glad to see resumption of high-level visits between the two countries and reiterated commitment to the three political documents, he added.

Politicians from both countries shoulder the responsibility for the interests of their peoples, Kono said, hoping the two sides will strengthen diplomatic dialogue and boost cooperation.

He pointed out that Japan's House of Representatives has established a regular exchange mechanism with China's legislature, the National People's Congress, and hoped China-Japan cooperation will not only promote bilateral ties, but peace, security and development of Northeast Asia and the world.

In his meeting with Ogi, Wen said this year brings both opportunities and challenges to China-Japan relations.

It is crucial for the development of bilateral ties that the two sides abide by the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement and the other two political documents, properly handle the issues related to history and China's Taiwan, the Chinese premier said.

Wen said the two sides should maintain the hard-earned progress that has been made in bilateral ties.

Exchanges between the legislatures play an important part in China-Japan relations, Wen added.

"We are grateful that Japanese parliamentarians have formed a support group for the Beijing Olympic Games," he told Ogi.

Wen hoped that the House of Councilors would continue their efforts to boost friendship between the two countries.

Ogi said she has been hoping that Japan-China relations can take a turn for the better from the so-called "cool politics, warm economics" pattern.

Premier Wen's visit is timely, she said, and hoped the trip will add momentum to bilateral ties.

She noted that China is Japan's largest trading partner and that China's economic development has created opportunities for Japan.

Japan's House of Councilors hopes to enhance exchanges with China's legislature and promote cooperation in political, economic and other areas, Ogi said.

She wished the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing a success, saying the event will be another important opportunity for boosting friendly exchanges between the two peoples.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2007)

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