Premier Li Meets China-Japan Friendship Committee

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Thursday met with a Sino-Japan friendship group and urged Japan to properly handle issues that affect healthy growth of bilateral ties.

Li made the remarks while meeting with members of the Fifth 21st Century Committee for China-Japan Friendship, who were gathering in Beijing for a plenary session held on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Chinese government's stance on developing ties with Japan has always been consistent, Li said.

"We should continue to get over political obstacles and promote China-Japan strategic mutual-beneficial ties based on principles of the four China-Japan political documents, and in the spirit of drawing lessons from history and facing up to the future," said the premier.

The four documents include the China-Japan Joint Statement inked in 1972, the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978, the China-Japan Joint Declaration of 1998 and a joint statement on advancing strategic and mutually-beneficial relations in a comprehensive way that was signed in 2008.

"Only by bearing in mind the overall and long-term perspective and seriously implementing the consensus reached between both sides can we continuously improve China-Japan ties," he said.

The healthy and stable growth of China-Japan relations is of vital importance to the peace, stability and prosperity of both countries and the region, he added.

Li also called for closer non-governmental exchanges in such areas as education, culture, cities and youth to consolidate the social foundation for bilateral ties.

He said he hoped the 21st Century Committee for China-Japan Friendship will play a greater role in facilitating people-to-people friendship.

Top Japanese member of the committee Taizo Nishimuro said they will make concerted efforts to improve Japan-China ties and boost mutual understanding by enhancing exchanges at various levels.

During the meeting, members of both countries held candid and in-depth exchanges, Taizo Nishimuro said, adding the committee is ready to play a positive role in promoting Japan-China friendly exchanges and cooperation.

The committee was founded in 1984 in an aim to strengthen understanding as well as people-to-people friendship between China and Japan. The current top Chinese member of the committee is Tang Jiaxuan.

Source: Xinhua