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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:01, October 17, 2006
Legislators: Maintain momentum in relations
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Top legislators from China and Japan agreed yesterday to maintain the momentum in bilateral relations following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "ice-breaking" visit to China on October 8-9.

The appropriate handling of historical issues and Taiwan question is the political basis for developing relations between China and Japan, said Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

Wu, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Vice-President Zeng Qinghong, separately met visiting President of Japan's House of Councillors Chikage Ogi.

Wu urged leaders of the two countries to treat bilateral ties from "strategic and long-term" perspectives and "use history as a mirror and look to the future."

Wu described the past five years as the "most difficult time" in bilateral relations, citing former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese war criminals of World War II are honoured along with the war dead, as the major reason.

He said that Abe's visit had broken the political stalemate and bilateral relations are on a normal track.

Wu urged both countries to "cherish the hard-won" improvement in ties.

Jin Xide, a researcher in Sino-Japanese relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Abe's visit to China had removed political obstacles.

Yesterday, Abe met Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in Tokyo.

Ogi's visit, as well as Wang's trip, shows the special significance of Abe's visit, said Jin. If a summit meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders had not been achieved, visits at other levels would not have made any substantial progress, he said.

Source: China Daily

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