Chinese, Japanese lawmakers pledge to advance bilateral ties

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Lawmakers from China's National People's Congress (NPC), the nation's top legislature, and legislators from Japan's upper house agreed at an annual meeting Thursday to promote healthy and stable growth in China-Japan ties.

The annual meeting was the fourth of its kind under a legislative exchange mechanism Beijing and Tokyo have established.

Li Jianguo, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, and Oishi Masamitsu, a Japanese upper house member, co-chaired the meeting. Both sides spoke highly of the progress reached in China-Japan relations over the last year.

Both sides agreed a stable and healthy bilateral relationship is in the fundamental interests of the two nations and the two peoples. Such a bilateral relationship is also conducive to regional and global peace and stability.

The two nations should seize opportunities to reach agreements, increase mutual political trust, expand cooperation in various sectors, and solve problems to promote strategic and mutually beneficial ties, both sides agreed.

The two sides also exchanged views on economic cooperation, energy saving, environmental protection, climate change, the financial crisis, and other issues of international and regional importance.

Li said the two nations should give full play to each other's competitive advantages and increase coordination to promote bilateral trade cooperation.

Oishi Masamitsu said Japan would strengthen cooperation with China in energy saving, environmental protection and tackling climate change.

The two sides agreed to increase people-to-people exchanges, especially among youth, as it is important to cement a social basis for China-Japan friendship.

Both sides also pledged to deepen parliamentary exchanges and increase mutual understanding between young parliamentary members, in an effort to promote China-Japan pragmatic cooperation in all areas.

The fifth meeting under the exchange mechanism is scheduled to be held in Japan next year.

Beijing and Tokyo signed a memorandum in October 2006 setting up regular legislative exchange mechanism. According to the memorandum, the two sides host the annual meeting alternately.

The first meeting under the mechanism was held in March 2007 in Tokyo.

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