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Premier Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with Japanese Prime Minister Abe


Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on April 11, 2007. The two leaders agreed on the content of the strategic, mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries. They also agreed to set up a high-level economic dialogue mechanism, and to upgrade cooperation in various areas through joint efforts.

With an agreement reached in October 2006 to overcome the political obstacles to bilateral ties, Prime Minister Abe paid a visit to China, breaking the political deadlock in bilateral ties, said Wen. Cooperation in various areas has become increasingly active since then, a welcome sign for the two peoples as well as the international community, Wen added.

Continued improvement and development of China-Japan relations, and enhancement of their friendly cooperation conform to the shared aspirations of both peoples and to the historical trends, Wen said. China and Japan are close neighbors and achieving long-term, healthy and stable development of bilateral relations will benefit both sides, and will also be conducive to peace and development in the region and the rest of the world, Wen said. To build a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship, the two sides should handle the course of bilateral ties from a strategic height and a long-term perspective and make efforts in the following six aspects, Wen noted. First, Wen suggested both sides observe the principles set forth in the three political documents and abide by their commitments to safeguard the political foundation of bilateral ties. Second, Wen urged both countries to increase high-level exchanges and communicate with each other on major issues concerning bilateral ties in a timely manner through exchanges and strategic dialogue between the governments, legislatures and political parties of both sides, so as to build trust and clear up doubts. Third, both sides should deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, coordinate their economic development policies and cooperation goals through the mechanism of high-level economic dialogue and advance cooperation on energy saving, environmental protection, finance, energy resources, information communications and high and new tech, said Wen. Fourth, both countries should strengthen military exchanges and security dialogue, brief each other on major moves in the field of military security in a timely manner and accelerate the launch of a mechanism of marine risk management between the two militaries, noted Wen. Fifth, the premier called for the two countries to expand cultural exchanges and well hold the events of China-Japan Culture and Sports Exchange Year this year. Sixth, the two countries should keep closer consultations and coordination in international and regional affairs and play a constructive role in pushing for the regional cooperation process and long-term peace and stability in Northeast Asia, he added.

Welcoming Wen's official visit to Japan, Abe said Japan and China reached consensus on constructing a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries last October. Since then, political contact has become frequent and economic exchanges closer. He expressed the hope that bilateral ties would make new strides through Wen's visit.

The strategic, mutually beneficial relationship requires that the two countries contribute to peace, stability and development of Asia and the world at large, strengthen cooperation in regional and international affairs and strive to promote interests of both countries and the whole Asia, Abe noted. Based on this understanding, the two countries should continue to keep the political and economic wheels moving forward to upgrade bilateral ties to a new level, he said.

Abe said to build a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship, the two countries should establish relations of mutual trust and maintain exchanges of visits at various levels, adding that he hoped to visit China again within the year. Japan will send delegations totaling 20,000 people to China on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties this year and also welcomes delegations from China. Abe said Japan welcomes the establishment of cultural centers in the two countries respectively, which he hopes will help to deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples. He also urged the two countries to enhance youth exchanges. It is of great significance for Japan and China to establish a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship in the security area and neither should deem the other side a threat, said Abe. Both sides should strengthen security cooperation and launch a communication mechanism between defense departments, said Abe, adding that Japan welcomes visits by Chinese defense minister and naval ships. The Japanese prime minister also suggested that the two countries give play to the role of high-level economic dialogue mechanism, strengthen cooperation on energy, environmental protection, energy resources, communications and finance and enrich the content of the strategic, mutually beneficial relationship, in a bid to push for bilateral ties.

Wen said the history issues are affecting the national sentiments of the Chinese people and are matters of grave importance and principle which have a direct bearing on the political foundation of China-Japan relations. The two countries have a history of friendly exchanges running for more than 2000 years, as well as a 50-year history of misfortune, he said. The wars of aggression launched by the Japanese militarists against China not only brought catastrophe to the Chinese people, but also inflicted suffering on the Japanese people, Wen said. "We should take history as a mirror and face up to the future, that is to say we should learn lessons from history and break a new path of friendly cooperation," Wen said. "We hope that the Japanese side would strictly adhere to the principles stated in the three political documents and properly handle the historical issues to preserve and foster the trend of improvement of bilateral ties that doesn't come easily," he said.

For his part, Abe said that it is his "ideal and faith" to continue to follow the principles and spirit stated in the three political documents between the two countries and to push forward the development of bilateral relations. "I will treat history seriously and adhere to the path of peaceful development. There won't be any change in my attitude in the future," he told Wen.

On the Taiwan question, Wen stressed that the issue concerns China's core interests. China will do its utmost to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan issue, but is firmly opposed to the "de jure independence" attempt by the Taiwan authorities and all other forms of secessionist activities, he said. China hopes that Japan would realize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, and would keep its promises and handle the issue prudently, Wen said. Abe said the Japanese side sticks to its positions stated in the three political documents between the two countries, adding that his country adheres to the one-China policy and does not support "Taiwan independence."

The two sides also agreed to speed up the process of negotiations on the issue of the East China Sea and try to find a resolution acceptable to both sides at an early date, so as to make the East China Sea "a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation."

After the talks, Wen and Abe attended the signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation documents on such fields as energy and environmental protection.

Prior to the talks, Wen attended a welcoming ceremony hosted by Abe.

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