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Experts vow to boost mutual trust between China, Japan

By Zhang Yunbi and Feng Zhiwei  (China Daily)

08:54, October 26, 2011

CHANGSHA - Prominent policymakers and think tanks from China and Japan on Tuesday vowed to boost trust in political and security affairs and public diplomacy.

Hunan province and Japan's Tokushima Prefecture also signed an agreement on Monday to mark the establishment of their official friendship at the third annual meeting of the Fifth 21st Century Committee for China-Japan Friendship, an advisory panel to both governments.

The committee recommended that government and powerful political figures from both sides make a greater effort to view their counterparts in an objective way and "handle issues concerned properly".

Committee members attach great importance to the principles and spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan, recognizing them as a guide for improving bilateral ties, former state councilor Tang Jiaxuan said on Tuesday in a speech at the closing of the three-day meeting.

Taizo Nishimuro, the top Japanese committee member, said China and Japan should promote mutual trust in political and security affairs.

All-round plans "in bilateral, regional and global scope" on the mid- and long-term China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit should be brought to the table to push bilateral ties toward lasting stability, according to a proposal made by the committee.

Both countries should focus on diversifying bilateral communication and cooperation and exploring more fields that show signs of potential, Nishimuro said.

Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations.

Committee members suggested both sides tap into the full potential of the timing of the anniversary and launch a series of commemorative campaigns to make 2012 a year of evolving bilateral ties.

Emphasizing the role of public diplomacy, the committee called for additional funding for communications and visits between young people of the two countries.

Around 20,000 students from both sides will participate in friendly activities and visits over the next five years, Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa said during a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing on Oct 19.

Chinese film festivals in Japan, Japanese cartoon exhibitions and a recent pop concert in Beijing also serve to diversify bilateral communication, Niwa said.

In the context of the current global economic downturn, committee members recommended bilateral cooperation to enhance the capacity to face financial challenges.

China and Japan should jointly promote the construction of the China-Japan-Republic of Korea Free Trade Area as well as the East Asian Free Trade Area, and take leading roles in Asian economic integration, according to the proposal.

The new technology and green energy sectors show great potential for diversifying bilateral cooperation, the committee said.


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