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Neighbors will stand together
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08:27, January 29, 2008

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China and Japan should smash the trammels of old ideas and establish a relationship that enables the two to combat common challenges and face Asia and the world together, policy consultants from both sides said yesterday.

"China and Japan both shoulder important responsibilities and have broad common interests in the fields of peace and development," Zheng Bijian, the chief Chinese member of the seventh meeting of the 21st Century Committee for China-Japan Friendship, said at its closing ceremony.

"We should make efforts to develop Sino-Japanese relations with a global perspective, so as to face issues such as climate change together, jointly promote East Asia cooperation and contribute to stability, peace and prosperity in the region and the world at large," Zheng said.

Established in 2003, the committee is a policy consultation organization for the two governments. Its goal is to bring together intellectuals from both sides to study relations from a broad political, economic, cultural, scientific and technological perspective, and make proposals to the two governments.

During the two-day meeting, 14 consultants discussed how to ensure a successful Japan visit for President Hu Jintao this spring and implement the consensus reached during Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's visit to China last month, Zheng said.

Beijing said during Fukuda's visit that President Hu would pay a State visit to Japan in the "cherry blossom season".

The consultants also discussed ways to boost mutual trust, enlarge common interest and handle sensitive issues, as well as suggesting the establishment of a mechanism for long-term and stable development of bilateral ties.

After the meeting, Bai Yansong, a CCTV news anchor and committee member, told China Daily he viewed Fukuda's frequent mentioning of "we" and "community of interests" during his speech at Peking University an important change.

"For Sino-Japanese relations, it is no longer the question of 'You' and 'I'. Now we are a community of interests with our feet in Asia and facing the world together," said Bai, who last year produced a TV series entitled Japan in Yan's Eyes to introduce the politics, economy and culture of Japan to a Chinese audience.

Yotaro Kobayashi, Japan's chief committee member, agreed with Bai and suggested maintaining the use of "We" in future bilateral exchanges.

Both Premier Wen Jiabao and Fukuda sent letters of congratulations to the meeting.

The group's final meeting will be held at the end of the year in Japan.

It will yield a final report and mark the end of the consultants' five-year tenure.

Source: China Daily

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