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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Xinhua - English

Xinhua - EnglishChina calls for joint efforts with Japan to improve ties 2005-12-07 00:06:22

 BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- China on Wednesday urged politicians and insightful people from China and Japan to join efforts to bring bilateral ties back to normal.

"The politicians and people with insight of the two countries should work together to conquer difficulties so as to promote the normal development of bilateral ties and ensure that the two countries will be friendly from generation to generation," Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong said when meeting with a delegation of the Japanese Social Democratic Party led by the party leader Fukushima Mizuho.

"The China-Japan relationship is currently faced with serious difficulties and China is not the one who should shoulder the responsibility," Zeng said.

The vice president said the visits of Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors convicted class-A World War II criminals along with other war-dead, have seriously hurt Chinese people's feelings and impaired the political foundation of Sino-Japanese ties.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the shrine in October, the fifth since he took office in April 2001.

Describing China and Japan as close neighbors and countries of great regional influence, Zeng said the development of Sino-Japanese relations concerns not only the fundamental interests of the two peoples but also the prosperity and stabilityof Asia and the whole world.

"The Chinese party and government value the relations with Japan," Zeng said, expressing the hope that the two countries bear in mind the three political documents reached between the two countries and realize peaceful coexistence, friendship, reciprocal cooperation and common development with the attitude of taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future.

Zeng also expressed his appreciation of the Social Democratic Party, saying that the party has played an active role in promoting the friendly cooperation between China and Japan.

He said the Communist Party of China will join efforts with the Japanese party to push forward Sino-Japanese ties.

Fukushima said the Japanese leader's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is a major obstacle blocking the healthy development of bilateral ties and her party is firmly opposed to it.

She said the Social Democratic Party of Japan believes that Japan should face up to its historical responsibility and adhere to peaceful development.

Fukushima said the relations between Japan and China are important and her party will continue making efforts to promote bilateral good-neighborly and friendly cooperation.

Tomiichi Murayama, Japan's former prime minister who was at the meeting as an advisor to the Japanese delegation, said the friendship between Japan and China was established and cultivated by the older generations of leaders of the two countries and efforts should be made to bring the bilateral ties back to normal. Enditem

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