Frank and heated exchanges on Sino-Japanese relations and the
future of Asia marked discussions between Chinese university
students and Japanese guests at the third Beijing-Tokyo Forum
(left), vice-chairman of the subcommittee of foreign affairs of the
National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference, talks with Yuji Miyamoto, Japanese Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to China, during a seminar in
Peking University held as part of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum which
opened on August 28, 2007.
At Peking University, opinion makers from the two countries held
candid debates on bilateral ties and their effect on the continent
during a discussion on China-Japan Strategic Relationship of Mutual
Benefit and the Future of Asia.
The sparks of good ideas brought about by the suggestions can,
in turn, promote development of common interests, said Zhao
Qizheng, vice-chairman of the subcommittee of foreign affairs of
the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative
The annual forum convened at a time when bilateral ties are
warming after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ice-breaking
visit to China last year and Premier Wen Jiabao's ice-thawing return visit
Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo said the two countries
should cherish the hard-won thaw in bilateral ties and maintain the
momentum in promoting rapport.
Growing interaction and collaboration will benefit both, he
added, expressing the hope that mutual understanding will be
enhanced through extensive dialogue on topics of mutual
Metaphorically describing China-Japan ties as a vehicle which
should be driven carefully, Zhao said in a keynote speech that the
growth of bilateral relationship is irreversible because improving
Sino-Japanese relations accord with the aspirations of the two
peoples, interdependence of the two economies is increasing and the
neighbors' ties are also a global concern.
Minister of Culture Sun Jiazheng said: "Cultural exchanges play a
key role in civil communication. Culture, which softens things
silently like water, is actually strong and the basis of relations
between countries," he explained.
Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to China
Yuji Miyamoto said it is the neighbors' shared responsibility to
contribute to peace and development of Asia and the world at
It would be empty talk to discuss Asian co-existence without the
active participation of the two, he said.
He applauded the forum for serving as a venue for direct
It is also imperative for the two sides to rebuild trust, which
he said is important to state-to-state relations and
The forum mainly focused on the existing state of Sino-Japanese
relations and the future of Asia, said Yasushi Kudo of Japan's
Genron NPO, a forum sponsor along with China Daily and
Zhu Ling, editor-in-chief of China Daily, said media in
the two countries could work together to help improve bilateral
Objective reporting will help the Chinese and the Japanese get a
clearer picture of each other, which is key to maintaining the
momentum of promoting bilateral ties, Zhu said.
Active support for the forum from the two countries' influential
figures in the political arena, the media, and business and
culture, heralded a good beginning for second-track diplomacy
between China and Japan.
Other topics discussed yesterday at the two-day forum were
defense and security in Asia, economic collaboration, global
warming and the role of the media.
(China Daily August 29, 2007)