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Hu meets Japan-China friendship associations
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Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said Thursday that peaceful coexistence, friendship for generations, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development should be the lofty goal China and Japan strive for together.

In a welcome reception hosted by seven Japan-China friendship associations as well as four overseas Chinese bodies, Hu said China-Japan friendship is a historic tradition and, at the same time, conforms with the trend of the times.

Since the normalization of bilateral ties in 1972, China-Japan relations have witnessed rapid development with exchange and cooperation continuously deepening, and this has brought substantive benefits to the two countries and peoples, and made positive contributions to the peace and development of Asia and the world at large, said Hu.

He added that the current favorable situation in bilateral ties is hard-won and is the fruit of the painstaking work of generations.

The judicious personages from all walks of life in both countries, especially the friends from the seven friendship associations, who have long been espousing the establishment of China-Japan friendship and devoted to the cause of China-Japan friendship, have made unremitting efforts and important contributions, said Hu.

The Chinese president, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, extended heartfelt thanks and great respects to those Japanese friends of various circles who have made contributions to pushing forward China-Japan ties.

China-Japan relations are facing new opportunities for further advancement, said Hu. He expressed the hope that people of various circles in both countries will carry forward the cause and make concerted efforts to promote China-Japan friendship in a bid to bring greater benefit to both peoples, Asian people and people of the rest of the world.

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

(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2008)

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