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China, Japan reach consensus on Taiwan issue
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Ten officials from both sides attended the closed-door meeting that lasted 2.5 hours.

In recent years, defense exchanges between China and Japan have made new progress featuring many "firsts".

Last August, former Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan visited Japan, the first Chinese defense minister to visit the country in 10 years; China invited Japanese officers to watch military exercises for the first time in September, followed by a visit to Japan by a Chinese warship in December, the first since the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

State Councilor and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie also met with Masuda and his delegation after the consultation, saying the China-Japan relationship is at an important period of development and facing precious opportunities.

He said the defense departments of both countries should conform to the historic trend of China-Japan friendship, seize opportunities, promote friendly exchanges and enhance strategic mutual trust to help promote the comprehensive development of the relations.

Masuda told Liang the defense relationship was an important part of Japan-China relations and he hoped both sides would further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the defense and security fields.

The defense security consultation between China and Japan was launched in 1997, hosted in turn by both sides.

(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2008)

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