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Japanese firms backed on cooperation

By CAO DESHENG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-07-06 01:05

Premier Li Qiang (front, center) takes a group photo with a visiting business delegation led by Yohei Kono (front, second left), president of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei / China Daily]

Premier Li Qiang called on Wednesday for Japan to work with China to implement the political consensus that both countries are cooperative partners, and not a threat to each other.

Li made the remark in a meeting in Beijing with a Japanese business delegation led by Yohei Kono, president of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade. The delegation started its visit to China on Monday.

China and Japan are close neighbors that share common waters, Li said.

Noting that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the premier said that both sides should always abide by the principles established in the four political documents agreed to by China and Japan.

China is committed to promoting high-level opening-up and will continue to support Japanese companies in expanding investment and cooperation in China, he said.

Li expressed his hope that Kono's association will further play a leading role in promoting mutually beneficial cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

He also welcomed closer economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between the two sides at subnational levels.

Kono said that his association is dedicated to promoting economic and trade exchanges between Japan and China, enhancing friendship between the two countries, and supporting China's development.

He expressed willingness to work with the Chinese side in upholding the spirit of mutual respect and mutual trust, and continuously promoting friendly cooperation between Japan and China.

Kono's association is one of the seven Japan-China friendship groups whose activities are aimed at promoting Japan-China friendship and strengthening economic and trade relations. The ongoing visit, the first in four years, came amid high expectations about promoting a stable bilateral relationship after ties worsened in recent years.

From January to May, China's trade with Japan saw a 3.5 percent year-on-year decline, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

There are still many worrisome factors in the current Japanese government's policy toward China, typically noise about "decoupling", analysts said, adding that it is unwise for Japan to blindly follow the US and ruin its economic relations with China.

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