CHINA / National

Beijing-Tokyo forum to improve ties
Updated: 2006-08-03 08:04

A high-profile forum on China-Japan relations opened in Tokyo on Thursday (August 3) with top government officials, leading scholars and media executives attending to discuss ways to promote mutual understanding and build new type of bilateral ties.

Wang Yi, Chinese Ambassador to Japan.
Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi and Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe are to speak at the opening of the forum.

The two-day forum -- Beijing-Tokyo Forum -- is jointly organized by China Daily, Peking University and the Japanese think tank Genron NPO. Beijing and Tokyo take turn to host the forum.

The theme of this year's forum is "Facing Asia's Future -- Building New China-Japan Relations". Participants from the two countries will have frank and in-depth discussion and exchanges on bilateral communications and cooperation, resources, energy and environment and rebuilding mutual trust.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe.
This is the second forum. The first was held in Beijing in August last year.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, at his March meeting with the heads of seven Japan-China friendship organizations, said Beijing values the Sino-Japanese relations and regards it as one of the important bilateral relations in the world, and China has made unswerving efforts to improve the ties.

Hu offered talks with Japanese top leaders as soon as they make an unequivocal decision to stop visiting the Yasukuni Shrine.

The relationship between China and Japan has been chilled in recent years due to Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro's repeated pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A World War II criminals.

Leaders of the two neighboring countries have halted exchanges of visit for about five years, ever since Koizumi began paying homage to the controversial war shrine soon after he took office in 2001.