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China, Japan agree to boost military exchanges
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China and Japan agreed on Wednesday to promote military exchanges as part of the efforts to implement the joint statement issued after talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

Japan's defense minister will visit China this year to boost mutual trust between the defense departments of the two countries, a Chinese-Japanese joint press communique said.

The commander of China's Air Force will visit Japan in June, and the commander of the Navy and a deputy chief of the General Staff are scheduled to travel to Japan in the second half of this year.

Japanese naval ships will visit China in June, and both sides also agreed to work together toward establishing a maritime liaison mechanism between their defense departments to prevent maritime contingency, the communique said.

China and Japan will also explore ways to broaden exchanges between the armed forces as well as defense-related education and research institutions of the two countries.

With a view to increasing mutual understanding between the defense departments of the two countries, China and Japan will invite their young army officers to visit each other this year, the document said.

Hu arrived here on Tuesday for a five-day state visit, the first trip by a Chinese president to Japan in a decade.

(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2008)

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