CHINA / National

Hu urges removing obstacles to China-Japan ties
Updated: 2006-07-04 19:00

Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Tuesday he hoped China and Japan would make joint efforts to remove the current political obstacles and bring bilateral ties back on the track of sound and stable development as early as possible.

Hu made the remarks while meeting with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), Japan's largest opposition party.

"To strengthen dialogue and exchanges between parties and statesmen is of significance for increasing political trust and pushing forward Sino-Japanese relations at a time when bilateral ties are facing difficulties," Hu said.

Sino-Japanese relations had been soured by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's war dead, including 14 convicted class A war criminals in WWII, were honored.

The leaders of the two countries halted exchange visits following Koizumi's homage at the war shrine soon after he took office in 2001.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have always attached importance to China-Japan relations and are ready to properly tackle the problems existing between the two countries through dialogue and equal consultations, said Hu, who is also General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Hu expressed his appreciation for the efforts by Ozawa and the DPJ to cement Sino-Japanese friendship, saying Ozawa and his party have contributed a lot to the exchanges and cooperation between the two peoples.

The DPJ highly values Japan-China friendly and mutually-beneficial cooperation, said Ozawa, adding that the cooperation not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, but also benefits the peace and stability in Asia and the world.

"As head of the DPJ, I will continue to engage in developing Japan-China friendship following the Japanese politicians like former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka and do my best to help develop friendly cooperation between the two countries," said Ozawa.

Tanaka, as the first Japanese prime minister to visit China after WWII, signed a joint statement with China for normalization of bilateral relations in 1972.

The statement, together with the Peace and Friendship Treaty in 1978 and the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration in 1998, have become political principles guiding the development of Sino-Japanese ties.