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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:31, April 19, 2005
China, Japan agree to view ties from "strategic perspective" amidst tensions
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Amid recent tensions, China and Japan agreed to view their relationship from "a long-term, strategic perspective" during Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura Nobutaka's just concluded visit.

They also agreed to actively seek and expand common interests and continued to consolidate bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields.

The Chinese people was enraged by the approval of a revised history textbook by the Japanese government that de-emphasizes and equivocates on its aggressive history.

Thousands of Chinese, including college students and white collars, took to the streets in Beijing and several other cities around the country to voice their anger.

Nobutaka arrived in Beijing Sunday afternoon in an attempt to open a channel for dialogue. He held talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing late Sunday and met with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan Monday afternoon during his stay.

Local media all emphatically reported China's stance on the history and the Taiwan issues, with the former closely relating with Chinese people's feelings and the latter with China's "core interests", as Minister Li put it.

On history, China holds that it is a precondition for improving and perpetuating China-Japan relations. China hopes that to responsibly tackle the relevant problems and stop hurt the feeling of the Chinese people, urging Japan to take concrete actions to self-examine and face up to its brutal, murderous invasion of much of Asia prior to and during the World War II.

Japan promised to draw profound lessons from its aggression history and to continue to embrace a path of peaceful development, the Japanese foreign minister said. Nobutaka said Japan's invasion of China greatly damaged China, bringing suffering to the Chinese people. "Japan feels deep regret for that and once again expresses deep remorse and apology," he said.

On the issue of Taiwan, China strongly requests Japan to honor its promise to not undermine China's sovereignty. "The adherence to the one-China principle is the political foundation of the China-Japan relationship," said the Chinese foreign minister.

Nobutaka reiterated that Japan adheres to the one-China policy, lending no support to "two Chinas", "one China, one Taiwan" or " Taiwan independence."

Japan invaded China in 1931. Its troops retreated from the Chinese territory only in 1945 after the country announced unconditioned surrender. China and Japan normalized their diplomatic relations in 1972.

All aspects of Sino-Japanese cooperation have expanded since the normalization of relations, especially economically. Japan now is China's third largest trading partner with bilateral trade hitting 168 billion US dollars in 2004.

To ensure the smooth growth of China-Japan ties, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed three ways to improve Sino-Japanese relations in a press conference at the last annual session of China's National People Congress, the country's top legislature.

They include taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future, adhering to a one-China position, and expanding cooperation.

Additionally, Wen said that China and Japan should create conditions necessary for high-level visits, the foreign affairs departments of the two countries should begin study and research on strengthening and improving China-Japan relations, and problems left over from history should be properly handled.

Nobutaka particularly mentioned that Japan highly spoke of Wen's remarks during his China visit.

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