China-Japan ties scaling new heights: Chinese president (Lead)

May 6th, 2008 - 8:09 pm ICT by admin  

Tokyo, May 6 (Xinhua) Relations between China and Japan have touched new heights and are on way to further development, Chinese President Hu Jintao said here Tuesday. The president, on a five-day visit to Japan, said in a written statement on arrival at the airport that “the development of long-term stable and good neighbourly relations between China and Japan is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples”.

Hu said the year 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, and China-Japan relations are looking at new opportunities.

The president expressed hope that his visit would help in enhancing mutual trust, friendship and cooperation, and added that China would work together with Japan to open up new prospects for comprehensively pushing forward the China-Japan strategic relations.

Hu said he would meet Japan’s Emperor Akihito and have an in-depth exchange of views with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern.

Hu’s visit to Japan, the first by a Chinese president in 10 years, is seen as a step aimed at further improving the once-strained Sino-Japanese relationship, which began to thaw with the “ice-breaking” visit by former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to China in October 2006.

That visit was followed by the Japan trip of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in April last year and Fukuda’s “spring-herald” visit to China last December.

In an interview with Japanese journalists, the Chinese president Sunday said his state visit to Japan would have the atmosphere of a “warm spring” and he wished for a “warm spring for the friendship between the two peoples”.

With the leaders of the two countries maintaining frequent contacts, the relations between the two sides have been improving bringing cooperation in politics, trade, culture and defence.

China was Japan’s top trading partner last year while Japan was China’s third largest with bilateral trade touching $236 billion. Japan’s investment in China has reached $60.7 billion, making it the second largest foreign investor in China.

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