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Cooperation stressed for China-Japan relations

By ZHAO RUINAN in Beijing and WANG XU in Tokyo | China Daily | Updated: 2021-10-26 09:54
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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during the opening ceremony of the 17th Beijing-Tokyo Forum via video on Oct 25, 2021. [Photo/fmprc.gov.cn]

Officials and scholars from China and Japan have called on the two countries to boost cooperation so as to push bilateral ties to a new level, especially at a time of change posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of unilateralism.

As next year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic ties, the two countries should move on in the right direction and advance mutual trust, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

There is still huge potential for cooperation between China and Japan as new opportunities have also sprung up, with Wang calling on the two countries to strengthen cooperation in various fields including supply chain, the digital economy and green industry.

The senior diplomat made these remarks via video during the opening ceremony of the 17th Beijing-Tokyo Forum on Monday.

Good ties between the two nations lie in the close bond of the two peoples, Wang said. China and Japan are neighbors that enjoy similar cultural backgrounds, and the two countries should boost people-to-people exchanges to forge a more profound friendship between the two peoples.

Talks between Chinese and Japanese leaders earlier this month mapped out a new path for the development of bilateral ties, said Xu Lin, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and minister of the State Council Information Office.

China and Japan should strengthen dialogue and contact and manage their differences, pushing ties to thrive in the right direction, said Xu, adding that bilateral ties should be viewed in a wider perspective.

In a message to the forum, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said that not only high-level exchanges are necessary in developing Japan-China relations but also communication and dialogue between the people of two countries.

He expressed the hope that next year's milestone anniversary will be an opportunity to restore people-to-people exchange from the coronavirus.

Cao Weizhou, director-general of the China Overseas-Educated Scholars Development Foundation, called for more exchanges between the young people from China and Japan as they are critical in narrowing the gap of the two countries in the future.

In facing the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic and challenging Sino-US ties, Yasuo Fukuda, former prime minister of Japan, said "those who advocate Sino-US and Sino-Japanese confrontation are holding a foolish way of thinking".

"These people are completely on the opposite side of how to jointly deal with the huge challenges and crises facing mankind and the planet," he said.

The two-day forum is being attended by more than 100 officials, business leaders and scholars, discussing Sino-Japanese cooperation in fields including the digital economy, regional security and international collaboration.

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