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Home >> China
UPDATED: 19:39, October 08, 2006
Chinese president meets Japanese PM
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Photo:Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 8, 2006.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 8, 2006.
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Great Hall of the People Sunday afternoon, soon after Abe's talks with Premier Wen Jiabao.

"Your ongoing visit is serving as a turning point in the China-Japan relations and I hope it would also serve as a new starting point for the improvement and development of bilateral ties," Hu told Abe, congratulating upon Abe's taking office as prime minister.

Hu spoke highly of Abe's choosing China as the destination of his first official overseas trip, saying it indicated Abe has attached great importance to the improvement and development of the relations between the two neighbors.

Shortly afterwards, top legislator Wu Bangguo met with Abe, who arrived here earlier Sunday and will fly to Seoul early Monday.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said Abe's ongoing visit attracted world attention, especially from the Japanese and Chinese people.

"I hope the stalemate in China-Japan relations come to an end and I believe this visit would help open up a new page for bilateral ties," Wu said.

Abe told Wu that his visit indicated both Japan and China are attaching "extreme importance" to bilateral relationship.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao 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.

Abe, who took office September 26, is the first Japanese postwar prime minister who chose China as the destination of his first official overseas trip. He is also the first Japanese leader visiting China in five years.

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. (More details to be continued)

Source: Xinhua

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