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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Noda's visit: A sign of closer China-Japan relations

By Liu Jiangyong (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

15:10, December 26, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is on a two-day official visit to China. Noda’s visit will be a perfect ending to China-Japan bilateral diplomacy in 2011 and a good sign of closer bilateral relations in 2012, which marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan.

China-Japan relations have witnessed considerable improvements in 2011. China delivered a helping hand to Japan immediately after a devastating earthquake hit the country on March 11. Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao visited the quake-hit areas, expressed his sincere sympathy to the victims of the earthquake, and encouraged them to “live on with smile.” Wen’s visit showed the Chinese people’s friendship with the Japanese, and gained wide praise from all walks of life in Japan.

Not along ago, Japanese Foreign Minister Genba Koizumi visited China, and exchanged views with Chinese officials on issues of mutual concern. In addition, China and Japan have held vice-ministerial strategic dialogue to discuss the establishment of a maritime crisis management mechanism. Noda’s Cabinet has promised not to visit the Yasukuni Shrine, and said that China’s development offers a good opportunity to Japan. Stable and healthy development of China-Japan relations serves the fundamental interests of the two countries, the region, and the world.

Along with China’s rapid economic development, China-Japan trade has expanded steadily. According to statistics from the Japanese government, their bilateral trade volume reached over 253.5 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months of the year, up over 17 percent from a year earlier. The full-year volume for 2011 is likely to exceed 340 billion U.S. dollars.

According to Japanese statistics, Japan’s direct investments in China rose 60 percent in the first half of the year from 2010, and the amount of utilized Japanese investments in the first nine months reached 4.8 billion U.S. dollars, the highest in five years. Japan is now China’s third largest source of foreign investment.

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