CHINA / National

'Time to bring ties back on track'
By Le Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-05 05:55

President Hu Jintao yesterday called on China and Japan to strive to overcome the barriers plaguing their relations.

hu jintao
President Hu Jintao meets with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of Japan's Democratic Party at the Great Hall of People Wednesday. [Xinhua]
"We hope both sides will work together to remove political obstacles and bring bilateral ties back on the track of sound and stable development as soon as possible," said Hu.

He made the remarks at a meeting with Ichiro Ozawa, leader of Japan's main opposition party, in Beijing.

Leading a delegation of his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), Ozawa arrived in Beijing on Monday for a six-day visit to China at the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

He was accompanied by the party's deputy chief Naoto Kan and secretary general Yukio Hatoyama.

At the start of the meeting, Hu welcomed Ozawa's visit to China "at a time when China-Japan relations are facing difficulties."

"Given the situation, it is of great importance to intensify exchanges between parties and statesmen of the two countries so as to help strengthen mutual trust," said Hu, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

He said the CPC and the Chinese Government value Sino-Japanese relations, viewing and handling them in a "strategic and long-term" perspective.

"China has been working to solve the existing problems through dialogue and equal consultation, in the spirit of treating history like a mirror and looking to the future," said Hu.

Ties between China and Japan have become increasingly strained recently, mainly due to Japanese leader Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which honours convicted World War II war criminals.

The shrine is seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism by China and other Asian nations.
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