Sino-Japanese ties

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-31 07:51
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The 6th Beijing-Tokyo Forum, which opened on Monday in Tokyo, has come at a time when bilateral relations between the two countries are enjoying the best climate in years.

Extensive exchange of opinions between officials and scholars from both countries will deepen mutual understanding and give new impetus for bilateral ties to grow to a higher level.

The forum, co-organized by China Daily and Genron NPO, a Japanese non-profit think tank, has been an annual event held alternately in China and Japan since August 2005.

Over the years, the Beijing-Tokyo Forum has drawn prominent figures from the government and academia in the two countries. Many of its participants are also major players in blueprinting the roadmap for the Sino-Japan relationship. This year, participating heavyweights include Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office; Yoshito Sengoku, Japan's chief Cabinet secretary; Yasuo Fukuda, former prime minister of Japan; and Chen Haosu, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

The high-profile official presence indicates that both governments attach great importance to bilateral ties. This guarantees the forum's role as a major platform for people on the two sides to discuss in depth the issues concerning bilateral ties.

In recent years, Sino-Japanese relations have experienced some downturns. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts from both governments and peoples, the ice has been broken and melted.

The time is now ripe for the boat of friendship to sail on smooth waters. This is self-evidenced in a joint opinion poll conducted by China Daily and Genron NPO earlier this month. The majority of the respondents in the two countries see a brighter future for bilateral ties.

China has always cherished a special niche for its relations with Japan. It views Japan as a strategic partner, not an antagonist or even an enemy. As close neighbors and major players in regional affairs, peaceful co-existence and long-term friendship should be the common wish of our two countries.

A platform like the Beijing-Tokyo Forum can contribute to the forging of the Sino-Japanese friendship as well as regional development in many ways. It will build consensus and bridge gaps. It can also offer solutions and remedies to gnawing issues standing between our two countries.

Given that regional issues have also been included in the forum's panel discussions, the forum will also shed light on important questions including how the two countries can contribute to regional development and integration by working together, and how they can better coordinate their stances in dealing with global challenges including climate change, energy security and the building of a harmonious Asian community.

China and Japan shoulder due responsibilities to regional peace and development. Their closer cooperation benefits themselves and contributes to the region's economic development.

(China Daily 08/31/2010 page8)