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Premier Li: China-Japan ties improving, but more work is required

An Baijie/ Zhang Zhihao
Updated: Nov 3,2016 9:21 AM     China Daily

The recent growth in exchanges between China and Japan shows that bilateral ties are improving, but “the basis remains unstable”, Premier Li Keqiang said on Nov 1.

Lots of work still need to be done to bring the relationship between Beijing and Tokyo back to a normal footing, Premier Li told representatives of Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs and former senior officials including Japan’s former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and China’s former vice-premier Zeng Peiyan.

The Premier called for the sustainable improvement and stable development of bilateral ties based on the spirit of “using history as a mirror and facing the future”.

Premier Li spoke positively about the efforts made by businesspeople and former officials to promote China-Japan communication and cooperation, saying that such a dialogue mechanism is expected to decrease any element of uncertainty in bilateral ties and strengthen the public will to improve ties.

The Japanese representatives said that Premier Li pointed out the direction which needs to be taken to improve and develop Japan-China ties.

The dialogue between Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs and former officials is of great significance as government-to-government communications have encountered difficulties due to a lack of mutual political trust, said Zhang Jifeng, director of the Japanese economy department at the Institute of Japan Studies, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“Dialogue through nongovernmental channels is expected to play a key role in bilateral ties in current situation,” he said.