President Hu Jintao yesterday expressed the hope that China and Japan could
seize the opportunity of 2007 which marks the 35th anniversary of the
normalization of bilateral ties to push forward the momentum of improving
relations and cement a consensus.
Hu made the remarks yesterday when meeting Akihiro Ota head of Japan's New
Komeito Party which is a junior partner in the ruling coalition who is in
Beijing as the guest of the Communist Party of China.
The remarks came amid speculation that a Chinese leader, possibly Premier Wen
Jiabao, will visit Japan in April, in what is seen as a sign of warming
Ota told China
Daily yesterday that Japan is preparing for a Chinese leader's upcoming visit,
but did not reveal details.
Hu said "China will never forget the contribution the New Komeito Party has
made to the normalization and development of Sino-Japanese relations".
Chinese analysts believe Ota's visit will inject vigor into Sino-Japanese
relations, which experienced their worst period during the five-year term of
former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, which ended in September last
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to China last October -- his first overseas
trip after he took office saw a thaw in relations.
Hu's meeting with the visiting Japanese delegation indicates that China
values the ties with its neighbor, and the visit was conducive to enhancing
mutual political trust, said Wang Shan, a researcher with the China Institute of
Contemporary International Relations.
"The ruling coalition party visiting China will have a positive impact on the
Abe cabinet's foreign policy toward China and can help prevent the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) from treading the old path which undermined relations,"
"The high-level exchanges between the two parties will create a favorable
political atmosphere for the two nations to improve relations and can help
remove political obstacles," said Jin Xide, deputy director with the Institute
of Japanese Studies affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
(China Daily 01/09/2007 page1)