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President Hu Jintao Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda

On July 9, 2008, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in Toyako, Hokkaido.

During the meeting, Hu said the recent devastating earthquake that hit China's Sichuan province had caused huge casualties and heavy property losses to the local people as well as serious damages to the local economic and social development. Japan's Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Fukuda sent their messages of condolences and the latter also paid a visit to the Chinese Embassy in Japan to express condolences over the victims. The Japanese rescue and medical teams were the first such foreign professional teams to arrive in China following the quake and Japanese people from all walks of life gave helping hands through various means. All this embodied the friendly feelings of the Japanese people for the Chinese people and was spoken highly of by the Chinese people. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, Hu expressed sincere gratitude for Japan's prompt assistance to China following the deadly earthquake. The Chinese side is also willing to strengthen cooperation with Japan in the fields of disaster prevention, relief and reduction, Hu added.

Fukuda once again expressed his sympathy and condolences over the heavy casualties and property losses endured by the Chinese. He expected the people in the quake-hit regions will rebuild homes at an early date. The Japanese side will offer help to China for the reconstruction work in the disaster area, and is also willing to strengthen bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the fields of disaster prevention, relief and reduction, Fukuda said.

Boosting the strategic and mutually beneficial relations serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and their peoples, and is also conducive to maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world at large, Hu Jintao said. Hu pointed out that during his visit to Japan in May, the two countries signed their fourth political agreement, which maps out future prospects for China-Japan ties. China is willing to work with Japan on the implementation of the consensus reached by the two countries. First, continue high-level contacts between the two countries. The ASEM Summit, the Chinese, Japanese and ROK Leaders' Meeting, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the East Asia Summit will be held within this year. The leaders of the two countries can hold meetings on these multilateral occasions, exchanging in a timely manner views on China-Japan relations and other issues of common concern. Second, hold the second round of high-level economic dialogues between the two nations this autumn in Tokyo. Both sides can exchange in-depth views on the macroeconomic policy of the two countries so as to push for tangible progress in bilateral economic and trade cooperation, especially cooperation on energy saving and environmental protection. Third, endeavor to advance humanities exchanges. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship and it is also China-Japan youth exchange year. Both sides should carry out personnel and cultural exchanges to build up mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples especially between the youth. Fourth, enhance defense exchanges and build mutual security trust.

Agreeing with Hu's proposals on promoting bilateral relations, Fukuda said relations between the two countries have made significant progress in recent years. The Japanese Prime Minister expressed hope that the two sides will continue to strengthen political dialogue, expand personnel and cultural contact and enhance exchanges in the field of defense affairs.

Fukuda also said that he will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and wished the games great success.

Hu welcomed Fukuda's decision, saying that the preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games have drawn strong support from the Japanese government, the Japanese Olympic Committee and Japanese lawmakers' league supporting the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as well as from friendly people of all circles. Hu welcomed Fukuda to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games and welcomed Japanese friends to come to Beijing to watch the games. He expected outstanding performance of Japanese athletes at the Games.

The two leaders also discussed the regional security issue of common concern.

Ling Jihua, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee (CPCCC) and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Huning, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee (CPCCC) and Director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo attended the meeting.

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