On February 16, 2012, the opening ceremony for the year of exchanges and friendship between Chinese and Japanese nationals was held in Beijing. State Councilor Liu Yandong attended the ceremony and met with a Japanese delegation headed by Naoshima Masayuki, the special envoy of Japan's Prime Minister. The visiting delegation also consists of representatives of the Japan Business Federation and seven Japan-China friendship groups.
Liu made positive comments on development achievements of the Sino-Japanese relations since the normalization of diplomatic relations 40 years ago. She said China and Japan should draw lessons from history and adopt a future-oriented approach to constantly consolidate and develop the strategic and mutually beneficial relationship, which is conducive to mutual benefit and common development and to peace, stability and development in Asia and the world at large. She hopes both countries can use the anniversary as an opportunity to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, ensure success of the year of exchanges and friendship between Chinese and Japanese nationals and promote understanding and friendship between the two peoples. He also urged both sides to consolidate the public opinion basis of Sino-Japanese relations and push forward the Sino-Japanese friendship for generations. Liu called on both sides to promote cooperation in accordance with the principles and spirit of the four political documents and important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.
The Japanese side expressed willingness to vigorously strengthen exchanges between both peoples and cooperation in various fields, and constantly deepen the Japan-China strategic reciprocal relations.