"Chinese people were deeply impressed by your outstanding rescue activities ... and your actions fully exhibited the Japanese people's friendly sentiment toward the Chinese people," Chinese President Hu Jintao told a group of Japanese rescue and medical workers on Tuesday.
President Hu met representatives of Japanese rescue and medical teams that participated in the rescue work in the aftermath of the disastrous 8.0-magnitude earthquake in China's Sichuan province on May 12.
Tuesday's meeting was the first official activity in the three-day Japan tour of President Hu, who arrived here Monday evening to attend the outreach session of the summit of the Group of Eight industrialized countries.
After shaking hands one by one with the 16 representatives and conveyed the Chinese government and Chinese people's sincere regards, Hu sat down with them to watch a telefilm named "Great Love without Borders," which was specially produced by China to record the Japanese assistance teams' impressive and respectable performance in the quake-hit regions.
The Japanese rescue and disaster relief team was the first such foreign professional team to arrive in China following the quake.
In the telefilm were scenes such as the Japanese rescue team's persistent efforts to dig out a mother and her 75-day-old daughter at a ruined building in the severely destructed county of Qingchuan, the team's soulful mourning on rubbles of the Beichuan Middle School on China's national condolence day for the victims, and the Japanese medical personnel's duteous cooperation with their Chinese counterparts at the Huaxi Hospital in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province.
Sincerity and ties of friendship were shown during the help in need. On watching the telefilm, the Japanese rescue team members recalled their unforgettable 119 hours in the disaster region, where they switched to several places and dug out a total of 16 bodies, and the Japanese medical team members recalled the touching moment of a seriously-hurt Chinese girl's expression of gratitude in Japanese to them.
During their speeches at the meeting, the Japanese representatives said they carried out their work in China with deep affection to the Chinese people, and were much encouraged by the Chinese people's cooperation and compliment. They believed that the people of the quake-hit areas can overcome difficulties and rebuild their homeland.
Hu in his part extended sincere thankfulness to the assistance teams and the Japanese government and people on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people.
"The Japanese government and all circles of the society gave their aid when the Chinese people suffered from the grave disaster of the earthquake," Hu said. "Your eminent humanitarian spirit and professional devotion were highly applauded by the Chinese people."
Hu introduced the reconstruction processes in China. "Although the work will be arduous, we believe that we will undoubtedly achieve all-around success and help those affected restore their homes with the potent support of the international community, including Japan."
He emphasized that disaster prevention and relief is a common topic for the whole human society and an important field for the implementation of the Sino-Japanese strategic and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Chinese president called for efforts from both sides on such cooperation to further push forward the bilateral ties.
"Chinese people will remember you forever," he said wholeheartedly to conclude his remarks.
At the end of the meeting, Hu presented to the representatives memorial volumes recording the Japanese assistance teams' performance in China.