China mourns death of former Japan-China Friendship Association chief

20:05, December 03, 2009      

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China on Thursday mourned the death of Ikuo Hirayama, former chairman of the Japan-China Friendship Association, saying he "has made important contributions" to bilateral friendship.

Hirayama died of a stroke at a Tokyo hospital at the age of 79 on Wednesday.

"We deplore the death of Mr. Hirayama and offer our deep condolence," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing.

"Mr. Hirayama, an old friend of the Chinese people, has been working on China-Japan friendship, and has made important contributions to advancing friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries," Qin said.

Hirayama is known for his efforts to preserve the world cultural heritage as well as his painting works on the Silk Road.

Hirayama was elected chairman of the Japan-China Friendship Association in 1992 and has since been working on the cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. He was given a special award by the Chinese government in 2002 for his efforts.

Source: Xinhua
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