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China and Japan mark 50 years of diplomatic relations

By Zhao Jia | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-09-05 16:06

As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan, officials from the two countries share views that the two neighbors need to reaffirm the original aspiration, meet each other halfway to lead the sound, stable and robust bilateral ties into another fifty years.

They made the comment at a launching ceremony of a series of interviews commemorating the anniversary. The interviews hear voices of 50 individuals from all walks of life from China and Japan, and elaborate on historical details of exchanges between the two countries, so as to improve people-to-people bonds and consolidate bilateral ties.

The stories of the 50 individuals are epitomes of relations between Beijing and Tokyo, and demonstrate their bilateral profound foundation and wishes of the people from the two countries aspiring friendship which spans across generations, said Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao.

Wu called for the two sides to safeguard the political foundation embodied in the four political documents and remove disturbances with wisdom to bring ties back onto the right track. "The two countries should, in a strategic and long-term perspective, stay committed to the important consensus that they are partners and pose no threat to each other."

The overall stable growth of bilateral ties has contributed to the prosperity and development of the region and the world at large, Wu said, while underlining the needs to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, bolster people-to-people exchanges and practice multilateralism.

According to Wu, trade volume between China and Japan has increased from $1.1 billion in 1972 to $371.4 billion in 2021, and two-way investment volume has reached nearly $130 billion. China and Japan have formed 256 pairs of sister cities and there are more than 1400 direct flights per week, Wu said, adding the number of people-to-people exchanges has exceeded 50 million before the COVID-19.

Though significant changes have taken place in international landscapes, the fact that China and Japan are eternal neighbors remains unchanged, said Tarumi Hideo, Japan's ambassador to China. He added that Japan and China have deeply influenced each other in multiple fields including culture and economy.

Hideo believed that stories where the two peoples share weal and woe will continue to emerge in the next 50 years and even in the future, saying the two countries need to maintain exchanges and communication and tell the younger generation more touching stories.

Wu Hailong, president of the China Public Diplomacy Association, said this year was a milestone and was also a new starting point for Sino-Japan relations as they are faced with more opportunities and challenges.

More efforts should be made to step up the public diplomacy to contribute to forging a stronger bond between the two countries' people, he added.

Cheng Yonghua, a former Chinese ambassador to Japan and also a representative of the 50 interviewees, said as neighbors who can never move away from each other, China and Japan prove that countries who differ in social systems and ideologies can carry forward friendly cooperation.

The two countries have rendered support to each other when confronting with natural disasters and the pandemic, Cheng said, adding that two peoples are also attached to the importance of developing friendly relations.



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