Premier Li Keqiang addresses a reception marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship in Tokyo, Japan, on May 10, 2018.[Photo/Xinhua]
TOKYO — Premier Li Keqiang said on May 10 that new progress and lasting stable development should be made in China-Japan relationship as it returns to the normal track.
This is the best way to commemorate the signing of China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Premier Li told a reception marking the 40th anniversary of the treaty in Tokyo.
As an important milestone in bilateral ties, the treaty affirmed the principles of the bilateral joint statement that was issued in 1972 in legal form, which include Japan’s deep reflection on war responsibilities, and its firm adherence to the One-China policy, Premier Li said, noting that the treaty also made it clear that the two countries’ friendship would last from generation to generation.
Over the past 40 years, China-Japan relations have achieved remarkable progress under the guidance of the spirit and principles of the treaty, Premier Li said at the reception, which was also attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and some 1,400 representatives from all walks of life from China and Japan.
It is based on the principles of the four cornerstone political documents, including this treaty, that the development of bilateral ties can be led back onto the right track in spite of twists and turns in the past, he said.
The four documents refer to the 1972 Sino-Japanese Joint Statement, the 1978 China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the 1998 China-Japan Joint Declaration, and the 2008 joint statement on advancing strategic and mutually beneficial relations.
Premier Li is now in Japan for an official visit, the first by a Chinese premier in eight years. He has met with Abe on May 9 as they agreed to enhance political mutual trust and step up economic cooperation between the two countries.
In the political area, Premier Li said at the reception on May 10 that China and Japan have agreed that they will use history as a mirror while keeping a future-oriented mind, and maintain high-level exchanges.
In the economic sphere, he said both sides are willing to bring bilateral pragmatic cooperation to a higher level, and achieve more mutually beneficial cooperation. They can work jointly in innovation and high-end manufacturing as well as in the financial industry, the Premier noted.
Also, China and Japan, taking the opportunity of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the treaty, are encouraged to hold more people-to-people exchanges, so as to bring the two peoples even closer.
A new chance has emerged for the improvement and development of bilateral relations, Premier Li said, urging the two neighbors to take new steps for their ties to progress and to bolster the confidence of the two peoples and of the entire international community in the development of China-Japan relationship.
For his part, Abe hailed Premier Li’s remarks at their meeting on May 9 that bilateral relations are setting sail again and will sail further.
The two countries, Abe said at the reception, can jointly shoulder greater responsibility in resolving regional issues, such as jointly promoting infrastructure construction in Asia by setting up a trans-departmental committee.
Abe called on the two sides to turn competition into coordination. He said that, starting today, bilateral relations have entered the era of coordination.
Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Japan Business Federation, also took part in the event. He said he looks forward to more of such high-level visits between the two neighbors.
Business people of both sides can work together, especially within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and in jointly developing the third-party market, he said.
For his part, Yohei Kono, former speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives, said he was amazed by the popularity of new services like bike-sharing, mobile payment and Internet-based delivery during his recent visit to China.
The progress made by China is worth learning from, said Kono, adding that China and Japan should learn from each other to achieve common prosperity and make joint contribution to the development of the world.