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Japan speaks highly of Hu's proposal on ties
Updated: 2005-05-08 23:32

A senior Japanese official said yesterday that Japan attaches importance to its relations with Asian countries, China in particular, and spoke highly of President Hu Jintao's proposal on promoting Sino-Japanese ties.

"Only by keeping sound relations with other countries across the world, especially neighbouring countries, can Japan subsist, develop and maintain prosperity," said Yamazaki Taku, assistant to the Japanese prime minister, as quoted by a Foreign Ministry official.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing (L) meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura at the start of a trilateral meeting between China, Japan and South Korea on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting of foreign ministers in Kyoto, Japan May 7, 2005. [Reuters]
Japan will continue to adhere to the three cornerstone political documents it signed with China, stick to the one-China policy and properly handle the history issue, he said during a meeting with Vice-Premier Huang Ju in Beijing.

"Japan will work with China to push the steady development of Japan-China relations in the long term," he said.

President Hu put forward a five-point proposal for the improvement of relations between the two neighbours during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sidelines of the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta last month.

The proposal emphasized dialogue, exchange and co-operation between the two countries, especially when bilateral ties are strained, and urges Japan to abide by the political documents which serve as the basis of their diplomatic ties and properly handle issues concerning history and Taiwan.

"The five-point proposal is the principle and general aim for developing China-Japan relations, which shows China's sincerity in improving and promoting relations with Japan," Huang said.

Sino-Japanese relations were recently stretched due to the actions of right-wing forces inside Japan which aimed to whitewash Japanese war crimes, especially those committed during Japan's invasion of China, and by Japan's support of "Taiwan independence."

Improving ties

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of China and Japan held talks on Saturday, vowing joint efforts to improve bilateral relations.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his Japanese counterpart Nobutaka Machimura met in Kyoto on the sidelines of the 7th ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

Li said Hu's five-point policy was significant in setting the principles and direction of the development of friendly and co-operative ties between the two countries in the 21st century.

Referring to the recent tensions in Sino-Japanese relations, Li said that it was important to correctly view the root cause of the difficulties, adding that both sides should work together to follow up the three political documents relating to history and Taiwan question.

Machimura said that Japan would adhere to the spirit of the proposal and make joint efforts with China to push the development of Sino-Japanese relations.

The Japanese foreign minister said the three political documents were the foundations to better dealing with the issues of history and Taiwan, adding that the Japanese Government will insist on the "One-China" policy on the basis of the three-document principle.

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