|Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe review the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing, capital of China, on Oct. 8, 2006.|
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
ese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
held their first talks in Beijing
Sunday afternoon, following a welcoming ceremony in Abe's honor.
Wen told Abe that it is in the fundamental interests of the two peoples to develop a friendly cooperative relationship between China and Japan.
This is an irresistible general trend and common aspiration of the two peoples, Wen said.
Wen said the two sides should set store by the overall interests of the Sino-Japanese relations, conform to the world trend and the need of the peoples and to further develop bilateral friendly relations of cooperation.
Expressing appreciation for Abe's positive attitude towards China-Japan relations, Wen said, recently, China and Japan have reached a consensus on overcoming political obstacles which hindered bilateral ties and on promoting the sound and healthy development of Sino-Japanese relations, and all these helped realize the visit, providing an opportunity to improve bilateral relations.
Wen said at the present sticking point, China-Japan relationship faced both new opportunities of development and lots of challenges.
China-Japan relations soured over former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese class-A war criminals in World War II are honored among the country's war dead.
Wen stressed that to achieve the long-term stable and healthy development of China-Japan relations, the issue of visiting the Yasukuni Shrine must be properly solved and the political obstacles affecting bilateral ties must be removed in line with the consensus reached between the two nations.
"Promises must be kept and action must be resolute," Wen said, noting that this is an important guarantee for pushing forward China-Japan relations.
Abe said he believes the future of Japanese-Chinese relations will have "no cloud", and he is ready to further the dialogue between the leaders of the two countries.
The talks will be followed by Abe's meetings with President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo later Sunday.
Abe, who took office on September 26 and arrived here at Sunday noon, is the first Japanese postwar prime minister who chose China as the destination of his first official overseas trip.
Wen invited Abe to visit China on the premise that "China and Japan reached a consensus on overcoming the political obstacle affecting bilateral relationship and promoting friendly and cooperative relationship," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.
Prior to his visit to China and the ROK, Abe told a session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee on Thursday that frank exchanges of views, goals and ideals are the first step in building the "relations of trust" among the Asian neighbors. He once pledged to improve relations with Japan's Asian neighbors.
The Sino-Japanese relations soured over former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese class-A war criminals in World War II are honored among the country's war dead.
The nuclear test of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the resumption of the six-party talks will be on agenda of the talks, according to the Japanese embassy in Beijing.
Xu Dunxin, who served as Chinese Ambassador to Japan between 1993 and 1998, was "prudently optimistic" about the prospect of China-Japan relations. "Abe's visit can not resolve all the problems in bilateral ties as the problems are complicated and protracted," he said.
But Abe's visit will open a channel for the leadership of the two countries to exchange and communicate, and lay a groundwork for further discussion, Xu said.
"The visit itself is a positive result," he added.