Chinese President Hu Jintao said Sunday that he hoped to "meet old friends, make new friends" during his upcoming visit to Japan.
Hu, who is scheduled to pay the visit from May 6 to 10, made the remarks during an interview with journalists from 16 Japanese media organizations stationed in Beijing.
"I'm looking forward to meeting with my old Japanese friends and making more new friends during the upcoming visit," he told the Japanese journalists.
Hu said he had a very deep impression of the enthusiasm, friendliness, diligence, wisdom, firm and indomitable spirit of the Japanese people.
The president said he took charge of receiving 3,000 Japanese young people who visited China in 1984, and led a 200-member youth delegation to visit Japan the following year. In 1998 he visited Japan again.
He also met with Japanese guests often in Beijing, including politicians, entrepreneurs, artists and others who were dedicated to promote China-Japan friendship, Hu said.
The Chinese president said he believed the Japanese people shared the same aspirations as the Chinese people to maintain peaceful and friendly coexistence.
(Xinhua News Agency May 4, 2008)