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China stresses normal exchanges with Japanese parties

(People's Daily Online)

08:22, January 30, 2013

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on January 29, 2013.(Photo/ Foreign Ministry of China)

BEIJING, Jan. 29 (People's Daily Online) -- China has long maintained normal communication and exchanges with Japan's ruling and opposition parties, as well as its non-governmental organizations, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks when asked to comment on former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's ongoing visit to China, adding that exchanges between China and Japan can "enhance bilateral communication, properly promote solutions for related issues and boost the development of bilateral relations."

Murayama, who is now serving as honorary advisor to the Japan-China Friendship Association, arrived in China on Monday for a four-day visit, accompanied by association head Koichi Kato.

His trip follows previous China visits this month by Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of a junior party in the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as former prime minister Yukio Hatoyama.

"We hope the Japanese side will make joint efforts with China to appropriately control and resolve problems through practical action," Hong said

Hong said China has always appreciated the Murayama Danwa, a broad apology issued by former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama for wartime atrocities, adding that Japan should take a responsible stance on historical issues.

"We hope the Japanese side will respect the concerns of countries in the region, reflect on history and stick to the path of peaceful development," Hong said.

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