Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told his Japanese counterpart Masahiko Komura Thursday in Tokyo that Beijing would like to forge a long-term strategic mutually trusting relationship with Japan.
Yang, who is on an official visit to Japan, is reportedly to lay the preparation work for the upcoming visit to Japan by Chinese President Hu Jintao, which is scheduled in early May. Hu's Japan visit will be the first in more than a decade by the head of PRC.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Masahiko Komura at the Iikura guest house in Tokyo April 17, 2008. Yang arrived in Japan on Thursday for a four-day visit to lay the groundwork for a visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao expected early next month. [Agencies]
Talking about Hu's forthcoming visit, Yang said that through the "historic visit", Beijing hopes to make joint efforts with Japan to map out the future from a strategic height and a long-term perspective.
The Chinese foreign minister said that Chinese government is interested in reaching consensus with Japanese government on building strategic mutual trust, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, and strengthening communication and coordination on global and regional affairs, and to bring bilateral relations on the track of long-term, healthy and stable development.
President Hu, while meeting Bunmei Ibuki, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and Kitagawa Kazuo, secretary-general of the Komei Party, Wedesday in Beijing, said that he hoped his Tokyo visit will help propel Sino-Japanese relationship to a high and fruitful level.
Hu said to develop long-lasting, stable and friendly relations with Japan is China's unswerving policy, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty, Hu said the two sides must seize the opportunity to cement mutual, beneficial cooperation and boost mutual trust.
Hu is expected to attend the opening ceremony of the China-Japan Friendly Exchange Year of Youth. He took part in the opening ceremony by the Chinese side last month held in Beijing's Renmin University.
It is reported that President Hu himself is keen to nurture a long-term friendly neighborhood relationship with Japan. He has called on young people of the two countries to visit each other more, and understand each other more. Hu has been the leader of China's Youth League.
Japanese media has reported that Hu will play a game of table tennis with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda at Tokyo's Waseda University.
Ping-pong diplomacy is no stranger to the Chinese. The exchange of table tennis players helped improve relationship between China and the United States and made it possible for then US President Richard Nixon to visit the country in 1972.
Foreign Minister Komura told Yang that the two countries have launched a series of exchanges this year, and drew attention to the obvious achievements made by both sides in diplomatic affairs, security, culture, and youth dialogue and communication.
Japan hopes to continue high-level contacts with China and strengthen dialogue and cooperation in areas such as environmental protection, energy conservation, agriculture and other fields, Komura said.
He also wished the Beijing Olympics great success, for which Yang expressed his gratitude.