Nations agree on joint history study

Updated: 2007-03-21 11:43

Japanese and Chinese scholars agreed Tuesday on the framework of a joint history study, including sensitive topics such as a controversial war shrine, in an effort to narrow difference between the two countries on historical issues.

The China-Japan Joint History Research Committee, consists of 10 researchers and scholars from each side, decided to form two subcommittees to research on important issues in "ancient and medieval history" and "modern history" between the two countries respectively, committee members said.

The topics range from history of exchanges between China and Japan over 2,000 years, war in modern times to recent ties between the two neighbors in the past 50 years or so.

"It is a difficult task, but we have made a good start," Shinichi Kitaoka, a history professor at Tokyo University who heads the Japanese side, was quoted as saying by AFP.

The joint history review was agreed to by Abe when he paid a fence-mending visit to China in September. The two countries have set a target date of publication of their joint study in 2008.

During the two-day meeting in Tokyo, the two sides discussed how the two countries recognise their history by jointly highlighting key topics.

They agreed to resume talks in December after each side finishes its own draft, so that they can compile a joint review covering thousands of years of history, including periods of goodwill between the two civilisations.

Bu Ping, director of the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the joint history study is an important task for the interests of both nations.

Bu, who led the Chinese delegation, said that he hope the progress in joint study will promote understandings between the two peoples and close gaps between their perceptions of history.

The two sides held their first meeting in December 2006 in Beijing, where they settled the work process, scope and topics for joint research, and discussed the 2,000 years of history of China- Japan exchanges and modern and post-World War II history in two groups.

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