Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Japanese Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda Friday morning, and both stressed joint
efforts to promote bilateral relations.
Wen said China-Japan relations have entered "an important period of
improvement and development", adding that he would like to work
with Fukuda to jointly seize opportunities so as to "promote a new
and greater development of strategic and mutually beneficial
Wen said he and Fukuda had a "friendly telephone call" only four
days after Fukuda assumed his premiership. They also met over lunch
during an Asian summit in Singapore last month. "As it shows, we
have established a sound work relationship," the premier said.
The talks took place in the Great Hall of the People after a
red-carpet welcoming ceremony.
Fukuda described their talks as "a heart-to-heart dialogue" and
said he was determined to treat bilateral relations earnestly "in
the new year to come".
He said that China-Japan relations offered "huge opportunities
and responsibilities". Fukuda added that he hoped the two countries
could cooperate for the future of Asia and the world.
Wen and Fukuda exchanged views on resources development in the
East China Sea and the Taiwan issue.
Wen proposed that the two countries should maintain momentum
through mutual visits and meetings at various multi-lateral
occasions by the two state leaders and conduct high-level
coordination on issues of common concern to achieve enhanced
political mutual trust.
He also suggested the two nations should cooperate in such key
areas as energy, environment, finance, high technology,
telecommunications and intellectual property protection to boost
the quality and efficiency of China-Japan economic and trade
The two countries should further conduct personnel exchanges to
strengthen China-Japan friendship, Wen said.
Next year, the two countries will mark the 30th anniversary of
the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.
Meanwhile, youth exchange programs will be further promoted as the
two countries observe the China-Japan Friendly Exchange Year of the
Youth in 2008.
China will host the Olympic Games next year. Fukuda said Japan
would "vigorously support" China and "sincerely look forward to"
the success of the Games. Wen also expressed warm welcome for Japan
to take part in the Games.
"To maintain and strengthen the China-Japan friendly ties is the
only correct choice of the two countries. It is in line with the
fundamental interests of their two peoples and is conducive to the
peace and development of northeastern Asia, and the continent as a
whole," Wen said.
The premier said the two nations would strengthen defense
exchanges and security dialogues, and schedule "in good time" a
China visit by Japan's defense minister and the maritime
He said that China and Japan should "properly and cautiously"
handle historical and Taiwan issues to safeguard the political
basis of the bilateral relations.
Fukuda said Japan would "very earnestly" reflect on the
agonizing part of history and continue to follow the path of
peaceful development so as to establish "forward-looking
China-Japan relations". The two nations have a long-time
disagreement on wartime history.
During their talks, Wen and Fukuda also touched upon the
assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on
Thursday. Both expressed strong opposition against terrorist
Wen also invited Fukuda to play baseball. During Wen's
"ice-thawing" trip to Japan in April, the premier played baseball
with Japanese college students.
After the talks, the two witnessed the signing of three
cooperation documents in fields of youth exchanges, technical
cooperation on climate change, and new joint research on magnetic
Fukuda's visit, three months after he took office, is the first
to China by a Japanese prime minister since Abe visited Beijing
It is the third overseas trip of Fukuda's premiership after his
visits to the United States and Singapore.
Later in the afternoon, Chinese President Hu Jintao and top
legislator Wu Bangguo were to meet with Fukuda after he spoke at
the elite Peking University.
Fukuda will also visit an economic development zone in Tianjin
on Saturday and the hometown of Confucius in Qufu, Shandong
Province, on Sunday before flying back to Japan.
(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2007)