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China, Japan in close contact over Xi's planned visit

By MO JINGXI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-03-03 07:28

China is willing to maintain close communications with Japan and make all-around preparations to create favorable conditions and a good atmosphere for President Xi Jinping's state visit, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Zhao Lijian, the ministry spokesman, made the remark when asked whether Beijing and Tokyo had reached agreement over the visit, scheduled to take place during spring this year.

"Now the China-Japan relationship has maintained the positive momentum of development. Xi's state visit to Japan will be of great significance," Zhao said, adding that the two sides are maintaining close communication.

According to the spokesman, China stands ready to work with Japan in implementing the important consensus reached between the leaders of both countries, respecting each other and seeking common ground while reserving differences.

The two sides will jointly promote the building of a China-Japan relationship that meets the requirements of the new era, he said.

Zhao also said that as they face the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, China and Japan have stood together and provided mutual assistance amid the difficulties, which has injected new impetus into the friendship between the two countries.

Last year, Xi accepted in principle Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's invitation, made during their meeting in Osaka on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, to pay a state visit to Japan in the spring. It will be the first state visit to Japan by a Chinese president since 2008.

Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, ended a two-day visit to Japan on Saturday.

When meeting with Yang, Abe said that Xi's visit is extremely important and the Japanese side will be well-prepared to ensure that it will be a complete success.

In 2018, Abe made an official visit to China, the first of its kind by a Japanese prime minister in seven years. He paid another visit to China last December.

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