Japan, China partners, not rivals: Chinese president (Lead)

May 8th, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by admin  

DPA
Tokyo, May 8 (DPA) Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a clear message to Japan Thursday that the two nations should consider each other important partners, rather than rivals. “Both sides should support the other side’s peaceful development, and see the other’s development as an opportunity, not a threat,” Hu said at a lecture at Waseda University in Tokyo.

On the third day of his visit, Hu said in his speech that Japan’s invasion of China in the 1930s and ’40s destroyed the bilateral friendship, and the unfortunate history brought tragedies and damage to both countries.

“We have insisted to clarify history, but this is not to continue holding grudges,” the Chinese leader said.

The people of the two nations should consider history as a “textbook” to learn from and a “mirror” to head for the future so they can cherish and protect peace, Hu added.

Hu and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda Wednesday signed a fourth statement issued by the two nations and pledged to enhance “mutually beneficial ties”, while looking directly at their history.

In the statement, China praised Japan’s contribution to world peace and stability since the end of World War II, which Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper called “a meaningful response” from China.

As an invited state guest, Hu Thursday met former prime ministers Yasuhiro Nakasone and Shinzo Abe, but Abe’s predecessor Junichiro Koizumi was absent from the breakfast table.

Koizumi decided to forego the meeting so as not to disrupt the improving bilateral relations as he feared his presence would remind participants of the tensions between the two nations, according to Kyodo News Agency.

His repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine during his 2001-2006 tenure angered China, South Korea and other Asian nations that suffered atrocities under Japan’s rule during World War II. The shrine honours Japanese veterans, including war criminals.

The visits soured regional relationships and triggered protests in China and elsewhere in East Asia.

Hu’s arrival marks the first visit to Japan by a Chinese head of state in 10 years.

Former prime minister Abe said at the meeting he hoped the human rights of the Tibetan people would improve because of the Beijing Olympics.

During the summit talks Wednesday, Fukuda and Hu agreed to resume talks on human rights issues, which had stalled in January 2000, when Japan and the United States urged China to improve the rights situation in China at the United Nations.

Although they failed to reach a settlement over development rights to natural resources in the East China Sea, the two leaders also agreed to reach an accord on development rights to offshore oil and gas fields before the Group of Eight summit in July, Kyodo quoted sources as saying.

China was reported to be ready to compromise and include the Chunxiao field in a joint project.

During the breakfast meeting, Hu told the former Japanese premiers: “The responsibilities borne by our two nations in the world are becoming more and more significant. We should further develop Chinese-Japanese relations from a long-term perspective.”

Nakasone said he regarded the Chinese leader as a “straightforward and honest politician” and highly valued the outcome of the summit talks.

But, “whether that can be realised will depend on the efforts of people in both nations as well as ours (as politicians) to build mutual trust,” Nakasone was quoted as saying after the meeting.

“Just having a document won’t do unless both nations work to implement it,” he added.

The two nations also signed a declaration on climate change, saying they will work together to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
DPA

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