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China and Japan seek to smooth relations
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-12 22:36

China and Japan will discuss bilateral issues today in Beijing to further ease recent tension.

Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo will lead the Chinese side, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The Japanese delegation will be led by Japanese Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, Shotaro Yachi.

Other regional issues are expected to be touched upon during the two-day talks which start in the Chinese capital Beijing today.

Wu Yi to Japan and Mongolia

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan yesterday announced Vice-Premier Wu Yi's eight-day visit to Japan from next Tuesday. She will attend the World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture and hold talks with Japanese leaders in Tokyo.

"Wu will hold discussions with Japanese Government leaders on issues of common concern," Kong Quan told a regular press briefing.

He added the specifics of the visit, including who she will meet, are currently being worked out by the two governments.

However, there are reports that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will probably meet Wu Yi next Saturday when Wu attends the World Exposition in Aichi.

Wu will also pay a three-day official visit to Mongolia after Japan.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his Japanese counterpart Nobutaka Machimura met last Saturday on the sidelines of Asia-Europe ministerial talks in the Japanese ancient capital Kyoto. The two sides agreed to launch a joint study on their history.

Zhou Yihuang, an expert on Sino-Japanese relations said both countries have moved to smooth over relations in recent weeks.

He said the two countries should sit down and negotiate on the deep disagreements over territorial issues, maritime resources and interpretations of Japan's militarist past.

"We need talks instead of confrontations," Zhou said, adding Sino-Japanese relations will move forward despite the disputes because of the strong and close bilateral economic ties.

However, "Tokyo also needs to face up its wartime past in order to further develop ties with Beijing," he said.

Six-Party Talks

Kong Quan yesterday also urged Pyongyang and Washington to show more flexibility and restart disarmament talks.

Kong said China had noted that there had been some positive messages in recent comments from the both sides-a reference to the Pyongyang's hint on Sunday to have direct contact with US and Washington's recognition of the sovereignty of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and its willingness to continue the bilateral talks within the framework of Six-Party Talks.

(China Daily 05/13/2005 page1)

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