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China and Japan should cooperate: vice-premier

By Zhou Wa | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-18 08:02

 China and Japan should cooperate: vice-premier

Vice-Premier Wang Yang (right) poses with Yohei Kono, president of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade, during their meeting in Beijing on Wednesday. Yao Dawei / Xinhua

China and Japan should cooperate: vice-premier

China emphasized its common interests with Tokyo on Wednesday as Vice-Premier Wang Yang met representatives of a China-friendly non-governmental organization from Japan.

China and Japan wield great influence in Asia and around the world, the vice-premier told the visiting representatives of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade.

If they get along well with each other, both sides will benefit from the bilateral ties, but if the two fight with each other, both will be harmed, Wang said.

Yohei Kono, former speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives and head of the association, led the delegation, which began its China visit on Sunday. Satsuki Eda, former president of the House of Councilors and now head of the Japan-China Friendship Center, also joined the delegation, according to Chinese media.

Observers said the visit shows the willingness of Japanese nongovernmental and business circles to improve ties with China, but whether the deadlocked relations can be warmed depends on how sincere the Japanese government is.

"It is in line with both China and Japan to maintain a healthy and stable development of bilateral ties, and China would like to further promote the China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit on the basis of the four political documents signed by the two countries," Wang said.

"The economies of both China and Japan are highly complementary to each other, and the Chinese government would like to advance the process of building a free trade area among China, Japan and South Korea", Wang said.

China would like to properly resolve the disputes during the FTA negotiation as soon as possible, he added.

Free trade area

Kono said the association would like to play a positive role to improve and develop China-Japan ties and strengthen bilateral cooperation at local level and in fields including food security.

The association will positively promote the building of the FTA.

After Kono, Toshihiro Nikai, head of the General Affairs Council under the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, will start a two-day China visit on April 28, followed by LDP Vice-President Masahiko Komura's visit to China, according to China News Service.

These visits show that nongovernmental goodwill from Japan is gathering in Japanese society, and this goodwill will put pressure on the government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said Feng Zhaokui, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

(China Daily 04/18/2013 page10)

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