TOKYO — Premier Li Keqiang said he hoped that China and Japan would carry forward the spirit of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship to push for new progress in bilateral relations.
Premier Li, who is on an official visit to Japan, made the remarks when meeting with some of the former Japanese politicians who had participated in the treaty-making process on the morning of May 10.
Forty years ago, the older generation of leaders from China and Japan showed great farsight and strategic resolve by concluding the treaty, said Premier Li.
The treaty confirmed the principles of the 1972 Sino-Japanese Joint Statement in legal form, raised it to a law that must be strictly followed, and established the general direction of friendship for generations and peaceful coexistence between the two countries, said Premier Li.
Forty years later, the two sides should continue to follow the spirit of the treaty, said the Premier. Both countries should take greater resolve and make greater efforts to increase mutual trust, build consensus and properly handle their differences so as to bring Sino-Japanese relations back to normal track and achieve new development.
He noted that the development of Sino-Japanese relations in recent years has proved that only by adhering to the principles and spirit set out in their four cornerstone political documents can the relations between the two countries achieve stable development. Otherwise, there will be twists and turns.
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.
The Premier called on both sides to cherish the hard-won momentum of improvement in bilateral relations, carry forward the spirit of the treaty, and promote new progress in their ties, in a bid to provide stable and positive expectations for the two peoples as well as the international community.
More than 20 Japanese representatives attended the meeting, including former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yohei Kono.
The Japanese attendees briefly reviewed the history of the signing of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, voicing full agreement with Premier Li’s remarks.
They expressed confidence in the improvement in bilateral ties and believed that the ties will continue the health and stable development.
They also voiced willingness to work with the Chinese side, taking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the treaty as an opportunity, to promote bilateral friendly cooperation.