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Leaders discuss Sino-Japanese co-operation, economic ties
( 2003-09-06 08:28) (China Daily)

National People's Congress Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo urged the Japanese Government here on Friday to properly handle the cases of injuries from chemical weapons left behind by Japanese army during their invasion from 1937-45.

Wu Bangguo (L), Chairman of the Standing Committee of Chinese parliament National People's Congress, and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi shake hands during a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries in Tokyo September 5, 2003. Wu, arrived in Japan on Thursday for a week-long visit on the invitation of Japan's parliament. [Reuters]
Wu made the remarks in his meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and House of Councillors President Hiroyuki Kurata. "The case once again underscored that issues left over from the war still threaten the safety and living environment of the Chinese people,'' he said.

Wu urged Prime Minister Koizumi to pay attention to the case.

Wu hoped the incident would be properly resolved and effective measures be taken to prevent reoccurrence of a similar tragedy in the future.

Stressing that the proper handling of historic issues is the cornerstone of Sino-Japanese relations, he urged Japanese political leaders to proceed from long-term and strategic perspectives and seek solution to existing problems in line with "taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future.''

Some cylinders containing mustard gas left by the Japanese troops were accidentally found in Qiqihar, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. One woman was killed and 42 other people were injured in the incident.

Koizumi, in response, expressed sympathy and condolence to the Chinese victims in the Qiqihar chemical weapon case. He said his government will handle the case through diplomatic channels with an earnest attitude.

Kurata also urged the Japanese Government to co-operate wholeheartedly and take responsibility to destroy the weapons in accordance with related international treaties.

During talks with Koizumi, Wu also said the Sino-Japanese relations had witnessed a great development in trade and personnel exchange and the development of bilateral ties is not only good for the two countries but is also of great significance for Asia and the world.

When talking about how to deepen bilateral ties, Wu said the maintenance of high-level visits is of great importance, stressing the value of face-to-face dialogue between leaders.

The economies of the two countries are highly complementary, Wu said. Economic co-operation between the two countries will good for the adjustment and upgrade industrial structure as well establish solid foundation to friendship.

The prime minister said he supports the idea that China's development means no threat to Japan but opportunities and the two nations should deploy co-operation in a win-win method.

This year coincides with the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship, he said. So Wu's visit means a lot to both countries.

Wu also met Japanese Emperor Akihito on Friday.

As the last leg of his Asian tour, Wu arrived in Japan on Thursday for an official visit. He had previously visited the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.

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