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Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 21:54

China, Japan vow to keep up ties

By Agencies

China, Japan vow to keep up ties
Visiting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (left) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on Oct 14, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA)

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and visiting Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Wednesday vowed to keep up a recent warming in ties.

"China and Japan are important neighbors to each other," Yang, who was in Tokyo for the second China-Japan high-level political dialogue, said at the start of his meeting with Abe.

"We would like to step closer to Japan and constantly promote the improvement and development of bilateral ties."

He also told Abe the development of healthy and stable relations was in the interest of both countries, China's foreign ministry said in a statement after the meeting.

Yang, who is visiting Tokyo from Tuesday to Wednesday, said China-Japan relations' steady and healthy development not only serves to the fundamental interests of both countries and their people, but also vital to regional peace and development.

"Japan should abide by the four-point principled agreement, properly handling sensitive issues such as in historical and military security areas," said the top diplomat of China.

Yang on Tuesday agreed to pursue high-level dialogue in a meeting with Abe's national security adviser, Shotaro Yachi.

"I've heard that you had a good meeting with Mr. Yachi," Abe told Yang before Wednesday's event was closed to reporters. "By holding such high-level talks repeatedly, I would like to bring forward relations between the two countries."

Later, Abe told Yang he looked forward to meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang at a string of international conferences this fall, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told reporters.

These events include a G20 summit in Turkey and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meetings in the Philippines, both set for November.

Abe praised Wednesday’s dialogue, saying the two sides had achieved positive results through it.

"Establishing stable and friendly Japan-China relations is helpful to the development of global peace and economy since China and Japan are the world's second and third largest economies."

The Japanese prime minister expressed wishes to maintain high-level dialogue and contact, strengthening exchanges and cooperation in all sectors as well as controlling disparities effectively.

"Japan will adhere to the path of peaceful development and make contributions to world peace on the basis of learning lessons from history," said Abe.

On the upcoming summit of Japan, China and South Korea, Abe said he hopes to see fruitful achievements by the joint efforts of the three countries.

Yang also expressed confidence of the trilateral summit, which may take place as early as this month in South Korea.

Yang on Tuesday elaborated China's principled stance on issues concerning UNESCO's Memory of the World Register, military security and the East and South China Sea at a China-Japan high-level political dialogue, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.

DISCONENT OVER JAPAN'S UNESCO BLOCK

At talks on Tuesday with Shotaro Yachi, Yang pointed out that historical issues matter a lot to the political foundations of China-Japan relations, according to Kong Xuanyou, director-general of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

He expressed strong dissatisfaction over Japan's attempt to block the inclusion of Nanjing Massacre documents in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Memory of the World Register.

Yang said China hopes Japan could properly handle the historical issues in a spirit of "learning from past and looking forward to the future."

Talking about Japan's passage of new security legislations last month which will allow Japan's Self Defense Forces to fight abroad, Yang said Japan should learn lessons from history, stick to the path of peaceful development and refrain from doing things detrimental to regional peace and stability.

Regarding the East China Sea issue, Yang reiterated China's positions on the Diaoyu Islands. "China will resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and maritime interests. However, we are also willing to manage and solve issues through dialogue."

Speaking of the South China Sea issue, Yang said the overall situation in the sea is stable and China maintains that the freedom of navigation and overflight that countries enjoy according to international law should be guaranteed.

The Japanese side should speak and act cautiously on the issue for regional peace and stability, Yang said.

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