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State Councilor meets Japanese youths from quake-hit areas

(Xinhua)

09:01, March 30, 2012

Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong (R) shakes hands with Japan's former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in Beijing, capital of China, March 29, 2012. Liu Yandong met with a visiting Japanese delegation that includes 97 young people from quake-hit areas on Thursday. The delegation was led by Japan's former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- State Councilor Liu Yandong on Thursday met with a group of youths from Japan's quake-hit areas led by a former prime minister.

"Friendship between China and Japan is rooted in the peoples as the future of the bilateral ties will be decided by the youth," said the State Councilor as she met with the delegation headed by former Japanese Prime Minister Murayama Tomiichi in Beijing.

Liu said exchanges between Chinese and Japanese youths will further improve mutual understanding and friendly sentiments between the two nations and lay a sound foundation for long-lasting friendship.

Meetings between the youths of the two nations are an important part of a series of activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic ties.

The delegation that includes 97 youngsters began an 8-day visit to China on Wednesday. The youths are middle-school students from four quake-stricken prefectures -- Iwate, Miyagi, Ibaraki, and Fukushima, home to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that went into melt down after the massive March 11 tsunami crashed over the reactors last year.

At the invitation of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF), the delegation will visit tourist destinations in Beijing and Shanghai and interact with their Chinese counterparts there. CSCLF, founded in 1982 in the name of former honorary president Soong Ching Ling, is a leading charity and folk exchange organization in China.

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