World / China-Japan Relations

President Xi's speech to improve
bilateral ties: Japanese media

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-24 19:57

President Xi's speech to improve <BR>bilateral ties: Japanese media

President Xi Jinping gives a speech during the China-Japan friendship exchange meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, May 23, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

TOKYO -- The Japanese media said Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech delivered at a gathering of more than 3,000 Japanese visitors in Beijing Saturday is a clear sign of China's willingness to improve bilateral ties as well as a warning against any attempt to whitewash Japan's wartime history.

The 3,000-member Japanese delegation arrived in China on Friday, an event observers hope will deepen mutual understanding and trust between the two neighbors.

The Mainichi Shimbun said the Chinese side viewed the visit by the Japanese delegation led by Toshihiro Nikai, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party's General Council, as a practical step to improve bilateral ties.

Noting that China attaches importance to people-to-people and local exchanges between the two nations, the paper believed that further improvement of bilateral relations has yet to come due to historical and regional issues.

The Asahi Shimbun said while Xi's speech stressed China's principled stance on the historical issues, it also showed the emphasis China placed on the people-to-people exchanges, especially among the young people between the two countries.

Quoting Xi's remarks that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the crimes committed by the Japanese militarists during Japan's war of aggression should never be covered up, the Tokyo Shimbun said the remarks indicated China had doubts about the Abe government's stance on historical issues.

Kyodo news agency said that Xi's speech, on the one hand, showed that China "was closely watching" Abe's planned statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. On the other hand, it highlighted China's commitment to advance the people-to-people exchanges, particularly among the youth, and its readiness to seek a "broader thawing" of relations with Japan.

Jiji press said that while China kept alert to the Abe administration, it also hoped to create an amicable environment through such large-scale exchanges.

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