Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Monday that China's new leadership is ready to work together with Japan to promote the friendly cooperative relations between the two countries.
Hu met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sidelines of the 11th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting.
Hu noted that peace and development are still the two dominant themes of the time. But the world is far from tranquility as uncertain factors affecting peace and development are still increasing.
China and Japan, as two major nations in Asia and the world, shoulder great responsibility in maintaining world peace and promoting common development, he said.
"We should hold firm to the correct path for the development of our relations so as to ensure a smooth growth of our relations in the 21st century," Hu said. "In that way we will help contribute to world peace and stability and bring benefits to our peoples."
The Chinese president said the new Chinese leadership attaches great importance to developing good-neighborly relations with Japan.
China is ready to work with Japan for the development of an all-round cooperative relations in various areas, Hu said, adding that China gave positive remarks on the new progress in bilateral exchange and cooperation.
In developing Sino-Japanese relations, the two sides should keep in mind the pros and cons of their history, he said.
Principles set in the three Sino-Japanese joint documents should be followed strictly, and the importance of bilateral relations should be viewed from a strategic point of view and common interest of both sides be expanded, Hu said.
"Leaders of our two countries should take history as a mirror and look forward to the future, so as to push forward bilateral relations from a long-term viewpoint," he said.
The issue of history should be handled carefully, and things that would harm the feelings of people of war-victim countries should never be done again, Hu said.
On the chemical weapons deserted by Japan in wartime, he said it is an issue left over from the past, which needs to be addressed immediately.
The war ended nearly 60 years ago, but the weapons from that war are still endangering the health and life of local residents in China. The Japanese government should take measures to solve the issue as soon as possible, Hu said.
As the two sides have reached agreement on dealing with problems arising from the incident of poisonous gas harming Chinese citizens in Qiqihar, China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, Japan should implement the consensus in order to console the victims at an early date, said the Chinese president.
That incident should also serve as an opportunity for the Japanese side to accelerate their handling of chemical weapons left over in China.
Koizumi said he has said for many times that China's fast economic growth is an opportunity rather than a threat to Japan. Bilateral relations should be developed on the basis of historical lessons on the one hand and looking forward to the future on the other hand.
He fully understands the importance of Japan-China relations, and is determined to push forward cooperation with China in various areas.
Japan hopes that personnel exchange between the two sides would increase and a future-oriented Japan-China relationship will be constructed, he said.
On the handling of the incident in Qiqihar, Koizumi said his government is willing to show sincerity and treat the matter seriously, promising that the agreement between the two governments will be implemented.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.