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China, Japan must seek path of peace, friendship, cooperation: Hu
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Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Tokyo on Wednesday that historical experience shows China and Japan must seek a path of peace, friendship and cooperation.

During talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, President Hu said, "Historical experience has demonstrated China and Japan must seek a path of peace, friendship and cooperation. This is the sole right choice which is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples."

China and Japan are close neighbors separated by a narrow strip of water, and the two peoples have enjoyed friendly exchanges for more than 2,000 years in the past, though there was a miserable period of time between the two countries, Hu said.

Peaceful coexistence, friendship for generations, mutual benefits and common development between the two nations are of vital importance to the peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world at large, he added.

Expressing his warm welcome to Hu's visit on the 30th anniversary of the endorsement of China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Prime Minister Fukuda said Japan is willing to work with China to push forward bilateral ties.

He said Japan-China friendly exchanges have lasted for more than 2000 years, but problems also occurred in bilateral ties.

What is important is that the two sides, especially the leaders of the two countries, should proceed from the overall situation, reach consensus on the path for developing bilateral ties, stick to their beliefs and make practical efforts to push forward bilateral relations, said Fukuda.

The two sides agreed unanimously that advancing stable, long-term and good-neighborly bilateral relations is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples.

Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on measures to tackle climate change, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the promotion of cooperation in East Asia and development in Africa.

The two sides also agreed to start at an early date to materially dismantle the World War II chemical weapons abandoned in China by the Japanese troops.

President Hu arrived here Tuesday for a state visit to Japan, the first by a Chinese president to Japan over the past decade.

The visit, dubbed a "warm-spring" trip, is seen as a step to further improve the once-chilly China-Japan relationship, which started to warm with the "ice-breaking" visit to China by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in October 2006. The visit was followed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's "ice-thawing" Japan trip in April last year and Fukuda's "spring-herald" visit to China last December.

(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2008)

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