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Yang Jiechi Holds Talks with His Japanese Counterpart Masahiko Komura

On December 1, 2007, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his visiting Japanese counterpart Masahiko Komura held talks at the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Yang said the current China-Japan relations have maintained sound momentum and bilateral cooperation in various fields has made remarkable progress. The leaders of the two countries have maintained frequent contacts and exchanges, helping push bilateral ties to a new stage of building strategic, reciprocal ties in an all-round manner. The two countries have launched their high-level economic dialogue mechanism, made new progress in defense exchanges and kept communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, he said, adding that both sides also held various activities to mark the 35th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic ties. China will continue to pursue the good-neighborly and friendly policy with Japan and develop long-term stable cooperation based on the three political documents between the two countries, he said. China is willing to make joint efforts with Japan to expand exchanges, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in an effort to push for greater progress in the China-Japan relationship, Yang added.

On the Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's upcoming visit to China, Yang said both sides should strengthen cooperation and make preparations for Fukuda's visit so as to ensure its success and push ahead with bilateral relations. He urged both sides to focus on cooperation in energy and environmental protection and deepen economic and trade cooperation to achieve mutual benefits and a win-win situation. He also called for strengthening humanistic exchanges to build up friendship between the two peoples. The leaders of the two countries have agreed to designate the year 2008 as the "Year of China-Japan Youth Exchange ", said Yang, expressing hope that both sides will arouse the initiative of the two peoples from all walks of life and cement the social basis of China-Japan friendship for generations. The foreign minister also suggested that the two countries properly handle key sensitive issues to ensure sound, stable development of bilateral ties. Yang emphasized that the history issue and Taiwan question concern the political foundation of China-Japan relations. He said he hoped the Japanese side could appropriately handle relevant issues in accordance with the three political documents and relevant consensus.

Komura said the atmosphere of Japan-China relations is good and the meetings between state leaders of both countries have forcefully promoted the development of bilateral ties. The two countries have successfully held a series of events to mark the 35th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic ties and "Cultural and Sports Exchange Year", which provide great opportunities for dynamic development of bilateral ties, said the foreign minister. Japan attaches great importance to furthering strategic reciprocal ties with China and is ready to keep close cooperation and coordination with China so that the exchanges of visits between leaders of the two countries could yield positive outcomes. Komura pledged Japan's joint efforts with China to well hold a range of grand events to mark the "Year of China-Japan Youth Exchange" and the 30th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan. Japan is willing to increase mutual trust in politics and security and facilitate bilateral exchanges and cooperation in environmental protection and culture to ensure that enormous achievements will be made in bilateral ties in the year 2008.

Komura reiterated Japan's position on the Taiwan question, saying Japan's stance remains unchanged. Japan does not support Taiwan to "join the United Nations" and opposes unilateral change of the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, Komura said.

To properly settle the East China Sea dispute at an early date and achieve joint exploration serves the mutual interests of both countries and is conducive to pushing forward the improvement and development of bilateral relations, Yang said, adding China always takes a positive attitude in solving the issue. Yang said maintaining friendly consultations is the only correct solution to the issue. Shelving disputes and seeking joint exploration is a realistic way to resolve the issue and making consistent efforts toward each other is key to progress in the consultations, Yang said. He said both sides should, on the basis of respecting the truth, seek common ground and narrow differences to jointly push for substantial progress in the East China Sea talks.

Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

Komura and Yang also signed agreements on mutual cooperation in criminal investigations and on Japan's final batch of yen loans to China after their talks.

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