China, Japan to hold strategic dialogue
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-09-22 09:57

China and Japan will hold a new round of strategic dialogue in Tokyo this weekend, as Japan's new ruling party chief Shinzo Abe prepares to succeed outgoing Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister next Tuesday.

Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi will head the two delegations during the 6th round of the strategic dialogue, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular news briefing yesterday.

"China hopes to exchange views with the Japanese side on bilateral ties and other issues of common concern through the dialogue," Qin said.

The previous round of the strategic dialogue between the two countries was held in Beijing in May 2005.

When asked about whether there will be a meeting between Abe and Dai on the sidelines of the dialogue, Qin said it is not known whether this would happen or not.

Abe was elected president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on Wednesday and is set to succeed Koizumi as Japan's prime minister next Tuesday, given the LDP's majority in the House of Representatives which has the final say in the choice.

"We hope the new LDP leader can honour his words with deeds and make sincere efforts to improve Sino-Japanese relations," Qin said.

He said China has been attaching importance to good-neighbourly relations with Japan.

The priority for the Japanese Government is to thoroughly clear up the political barriers that hinder the development of Sino-Japanese relations and handle the problem of history properly, Qin said.

Commenting on Koizumi's policy towards China, Qin said the changes that have taken place in China-Japan relations during his five-year term have been witnessed by the world, without elaborating.

Bilateral relations between China and Japan have been soured because of Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where 14 Class-A World War II war criminals are honoured.

(China Daily 09/22/2006 page2)