Chinese, Japanese officials, scholars call for joint efforts to promote healthy development of bilateral ties

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-29 19:31:31|Editor: Liangyu
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OSAKA, Japan, June 29 (Xinhua) -- China and Japan should work together to build bilateral relations in line with the requirements of the new era and make China-Japan relations an important and positive element for maintaining world peace and promoting common development, Chinese and Japanese officials and scholars have said.

The bilateral relations are standing at a new historic starting point, officials and experts from both China and Japan said.

Leaders of the two countries on Thursday reached a 10-point consensus to jointly promote the healthy development of bilateral relations in Japanese city of Osaka, said Wu Jianghao, director-general of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Both leaders agreed that China and Japan should focus on consensus while managing differences, Wu said.

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou told Xinhua that bilateral relations are at a new historic starting point and facing an important opportunity to move to a new level.

High-level exchanges play an irreplaceable leading role in the continuous improvement and development of China-Japan relations, Kong said.

The two sides took advantage of this important opportunity to send a clear signal that the two countries are committed to enhancing political mutual trust, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, consolidating people-to-people friendship and properly managing differences, thus leading the steady and long-term development of bilateral relations, the ambassador said.

Song Yaoming, minister of economy and commerce at the Chinese embassy in Japan, said that bilateral trade volume between China and Japan reached 327.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, increasing more than 30 times compared to the initial stage of reform and opening up.

At present, Japan is China's fourth largest trading partner and second largest trading destination, while China is Japan's largest trading partner, Song said, adding that in 2018, tourist arrivals from the Chinese mainland to Japan reached 8.38 million and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries hit a record high of more than 10 million.

Li Wei, chief representative of China of the China-Japan Forum for Exchange of Economic Knowledge, said that there are many opportunities and broad prospects for economic cooperation between the two countries.

At present, China is comprehensively deepening reform and opening wider to the outside world, Li said. China's opening up will bring more and better opportunities to Japan, and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will provide broad development space for the two sides to explore the third market.

Makoto Taniguchi, former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, said that with the continuous improvement of Japan-China relations, the two countries can strengthen cooperation, speed up negotiations on the Japan-China-South Korea free trade agreement and push forward the economic integration process in East Asia.

Taniguchi suggested that Japan could strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in the fields such as young talent, culture and environmental protection.

The Japanese government should actively consider joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and strengthen communication and cooperation in the field of Belt and Road construction, which will provide more development opportunities to Japanese enterprises and benefit regional development, he said.

Yuji Miyamoto, former Japanese ambassador to China, said that Japan-China relations are now back on the right track and that he expects the two countries to create a new type of relationship that is beneficial to the two peoples, the Asian people and the world.

The current international situation is grim and complex, and the free trade system faces crisis, he said, adding that Japan and China should strengthen cooperation to jointly cope with the challenge of the current trade protectionism and safeguard common interests.

Miyamoto suggested that bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the cultural field should continue to be strengthened. Through cultural exchanges and cooperation, the two peoples can deepen mutual understanding, which is crucial to the improvement of bilateral relations, he said.

Japan should strengthen cooperation with China in fields under the Belt and Road Initiative, said Eiichi Shindo, professor emeritus of the University of Tsukuba.

The construction of the Belt and Road has made substantive progress in many countries and regions and achieved remarkable results, he said.

Apart from helping to narrow the gap between the developing countries along the Belt and Road and the developed countries and helping people of those developing countries achieve prosperity, the initiative also promoted the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, which embodies Chinese wisdom, Shindo said.

Japan should seize the opportunity to actively participate in the Belt and Road construction and share the fruits of development, the expert said.