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Sino-Japanese relations 'at a new historical starting point'

By Wang Xu in Tokyo | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-18 10:21

The Sino-Japanese relationship is standing at a new historical starting point and facing important opportunities. [Photo/IC]

Beijing and Tokyo vowed to promote the steady development of bilateral relations on Friday, as a veteran Chinese diplomat visited Japan ahead of the Group of 20 summit.

"The Sino-Japanese relationship is standing at a new historical starting point and facing important opportunities," said 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, while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

"China is willing to work with Japan to promote the steady development of bilateral relations on the right track," Yang said, adding that such developments should be guided by the consensus made by the two countries' leaders and should stick to the direction of "peace, friendship and cooperation".

In response, Abe said he wants to promote the further development of the ties to start a new era of Japan-China relations.

Abe said Japan entered the new era of Reiwa on May 1 as Naruhito became the new emperor, and 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. "I am looking forward to meeting with President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G20 Summit, pushing bilateral ties a step further and opening a new era of Japan-China relations," he said.

Yang is on a three-day visit to Japan which started on Thursday, during which he had two days of talks in the resort town of Karuizawa with Japanese national security adviser Shotaro Yachi.

Yang and Yachi exchanged views on international and regional issues.

During talks with Yachi, Yang also urged efforts from both sides to promote regional integration and economic globalization, and safeguard multilateralism and free trade.

Yachi said Japan "completely agrees" that the two countries should see each other as development opportunities and cooperation partners, adding that he is very confident in the development of bilateral ties, that "fruitful outcomes" will be achieved and that "positive signals" will be released.

"China and Japan are both beneficiaries and defenders of globalization and the international order," said Zhou Weisheng, an economics professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. "They should work together from a historical and long-term vision to be reformers of the order rather than destroyers," he said.

"Meanwhile China and Japan should establish a stable and mutually beneficial relationship that is not subject to a third party," Zhou added.

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