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Beijing congratulates Japan's Nikai on new role

By ZHANG YUNBI | Xinhua | Updated: 2023-04-20 20:29

Beijing on Thursday voiced welcome to prominent Japanese politician Toshihiro Nikai on becoming chairman of a group of Japanese lawmakers focused on friendship with China.

Nikai, former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has been appointed as head of the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians' Union, a non-partisan organization.

At the organization's plenary meeting on Wednesday, it was decided the union will work toward a visit to China in June.

"Mr Toshihiro Nikai is a veteran statesman, and the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians' Union is one of seven major Japanese organizations promoting friendship with China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a daily news conference in Beijing on Thursday.

For a long time, Nikai and the union have been dedicated to advancing exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, Wang noted.

"We are glad Mr Nikai has become the union's new chairman and stand ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the union," Wang added.

Nikai, 84, was secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party from 2016 to 2021 and has led delegations on multiple visits to China.

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