Beijing -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay
an official visit to China from October 8 to 9, Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesman Liu Jianchao announced on Wednesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) is escorted by guards
as he arrives at the Upper House plenary session at the parliament in
Tokyo October 4, 2006. The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday
that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay an official visit to
China from October 8 to 9.
"China and Japan reached a consensus on overcoming the political obstacle to
the bilateral relationship and promoting the sound development of bilateral
friendly and cooperative relationship," Liu said.
"Accordingly, at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe will pay an official visit to China from October 8 to 9,"
the spokesman said.
The Sino-Japanese relations have been soured by former Japanese Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where
Japan's war dead, including 14 class-A war criminals in WWII, are honored.
The leaders of the two countries halted exchange of visits since Koizumi paid
a homage to the war shrine in 2001.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said last March in a meeting with the heads of
seven Japan-China friendship organizations that the difficult situation in
China-Japan relationship was not caused by the Chinese side or the Japanese
The sticking point is that the major obstacle in China-Japan relationship was
Japanese leader's insistence on visiting the shrine, Hu said.
China always values its relationship with Japan, considering it one of the
important bilateral relations in the world, he said. The Chinese side has made
unswerving efforts to improve China-Japan relations.
The president said the China's stance on its relationship with Japan is
"clear", "consistent" and "unswerving."
China will, as it always does, handle China-Japan relationship from a
strategic and long-term point of view and is committed to China-Japan peaceful
coexistence, long-term friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and common
development, he said.
The Chinese side will abide by the principles set in the three Sino-Japanese
political documents, continue to "take history as a mirror and look into the
future," and properly settle the problems between the two sides through equal
consultations, and maintain China-Japan friendship, said Hu.
Abe won a landslide victory in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's
presidential election on September 20, and was elected new Prime Minister on
He has pledged to improve relations with Japan's Asian neighbors, but refused
to say whether or not he would visit the shrine as prime minister.
Abe said Monday that on the view of Japan's wartime history, he will follow
the 1995 statement made by the then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama who
apologized and expressed remorse for Japan's colonial rule and atrocities before
and during the war.
Abe also said that Japan had accepted the results of the International
Military Tribunal of the Far East that convicted 14 Japanese wartime leaders as