File photo shows national flags of China and Japan. (Xinhua/Photo)
TOKYO, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- "Friendship with China is in the interests of both Japan and China. I hope we can make joint efforts to enhance win-win relationship between our two countries," said Tadatomo Yoshida, head of the Social Democratic Party in Japan.
Yoshida made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua at the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party in Oita prefecture, southwestern Japan, ahead of the 45th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral ties between China and Japan.
"China and Japan are close neighbors. We have a long history of communications and exchanges with each other. Meanwhile, China is the second largest economy in the world, and Japan is the third largest economy. We have connections that can not be cut off," said Yoshida.
He added that many people in different sectors of China and Japan have been making relentless efforts to promote development of bilateral relationship since normalization of bilateral ties 45 years ago.
As head of the Social Democratic Party, Yoshida visited China in 2014, and saw with his own eyes the great achievements made by China in economic development.
He has also had exchanges with Chinese government officials and friendly groups on the development of bilateral relationship.
Yoshida admitted that there are still some problems in bilateral relations between Japan and China, which is rooted in "the Abe administration's distorted historical view - its refusal to admit the invasive history, and its efforts to revise the pacifist Constitution."
"Japan has imposed tremendous sufferings to the people of its neighboring countries. Based on reflection upon that part of history, Japan enacted the pacifist Constitution and vowed never to war again. For people in Japan's neighboring countries, Article 9 of the pacifist Constitution represents Japan's commitment to not resorting to war again," said Yoshida.
With regards to how to promote Sino-Japanese relationship, Yoshida spoke highly of China's diplomatic policies, saying that the policy of taking "big powers as the key; China's periphery as priority; developing countries as the foundation; multilateral platforms as the stage" shows China's wisdom.
According to Yoshida, Japan's foreign policy puts too much emphasis on its relationship with the United States, and even makes Japan a subordinate to Washington.
He called upon Japan to focus more on its relationship with China and said that he has high hopes for the cooperation between China and Japan, especially in economic, cultural and environment-protection areas.
He also has a high opinion of China's role in international affairs, such as China's efforts to promote dialogue on the Korean Peninsula issue.
"The Abe administration has been stressing putting more pressure on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), saying that dialogue for dialogue's sake is meaningless. But I think dialogue is also important. Although the effects of pressure can not be denied, only through promoting dialogue at the same time can we solve the issue," he said.
The Social Democratic Party took its current name in 1996, with Tomiichi Murayama, former prime minister, as the first leader of the reformed party. Yoshida assumed the leadership of the Social Democratic Party in 2013.