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Premier Wen Jiabao Meets with His Japanese Counterpart Taro Aso

On December 13, 2008, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso in Fukuoka, Japan.

China-Japan relations have improved steadily this year with expanded consensus and increased mutual trust, Wen said. The year 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, and was also observed as the China-Japan friendly exchange year for the youth, which have further cemented the bonds of friendship between the two peoples, said Wen. He also appreciated Japan’s support for China’s quake relief efforts and Beijing Olympic Games. The foundation of the China-Japan friendship lies in the people of the two countries and the key is to win public support. The two sides should adhere to the belief of friendship for generations, handle bilateral relations from strategic and long-term perspectives and boost exchanges among both high-ranking officials and the general public, he said.

China is willing to make joint efforts with Japan to continue to develop the strategic and mutually beneficial ties in a healthy and stable manner, to benefit the peoples of the two countries and other nations in the region as well, Wen said. He urged both sides to correctly view and treat each other’s development and stick to the direction of mutual benefit so as to strengthen cooperation for common development. The two countries should stick to the principles set forth in the political documents on bilateral ties and properly handle sensitive issues. China is ready to work with Japan to push forward bilateral strategic reciprocal relations on a correct track and bring benefits to the people of the two countries and other nations in the region as well.

Noting that both China and Japan are influential economies in the world, the Chinese leader said the two are also important trading and investment partners for each other. The two sides should maintain their high-level economic dialogue mechanism, strengthen coordination in macroeconomic policies and adopt pragmatic measures to maintain a steady growth in bilateral trade and investment, and tackle the international financial crisis hand-in-hand, he added. The Chinese premier also suggested that the two sides actively facilitate regional cooperation in East Asia and on international financial reform, to make due contribution to the sound and stable development of the Asian and world economy.

Prime Minister Aso, for his part, said that Japan is satisfied with the sound development of bilateral ties. Japan upholds the general direction of Japan-China friendship and is willing to continue the frequent high-level exchanges, deepen mutual political trust, properly settle differences and promote dialogue and cooperation with China in such fields as economy and trade, he added. Japan will give full play to the role of the 21st Century Committee for Japan-China Friendship, promote youth exchanges and advance Japan-China strategic reciprocal relations. Japan is ready to strengthen cooperation and coordination with China in tackling the international financial crisis as it is of great importance to regional financial stability and economic development, the Japanese leader said.

On the issue of Diaoyu Islands mentioned by Taro Aso, Wen emphasized that China’s position on the issue is consistent, clear and firm. Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have long been the inherent territory of China. He urged both sides to handle relevant issues properly and calmly to avoid influencing the overall development of bilateral ties.

On the same day, Wen Jiabao also called on the staff of the Chinese Embassy in Japan and the Chinese Consulate General in Fukuoka, as well as representatives from overseas Chinese, Chinese-funded institutions and Chinese students.

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