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China, Japan reach agreement to improve ties

Updated: Nov 7,2014 5:32 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China and Japan reached a four-point agreement to improve bilateral ties on Nov 7, agreeing to resume political, diplomatic and security dialogue while acknowledging different positions on the Diaoyu Islands.

The agreement was reached as State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with visiting National Security Advisor of Japan Shotaro Yachi, China’s Foreign Ministry announced in a news release.

The four points in the agreement read as follows:

-- The two sides have affirmed that they will follow the principles of the four political documents reached between China and Japan and continue to develop the China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit.

-- In the spirit of “facing history squarely and looking forward to the future,” the two sides have reached some agreement on overcoming political obstacles in the bilateral relations.

-- The two sides have acknowledged that different positions exist between them regarding the tensions which have emerged in recent years over the Diaoyu Islands and some waters in the East China Sea, and agreed to prevent the situation from aggravating through dialogue and consultation and establish crisis management mechanisms to avoid contingencies.

-- The two sides have agreed to gradually resume political, diplomatic and security dialogue through various multilateral and bilateral channels and to make efforts to build political mutual trust.

The four documents refer to the China-Japan Joint Statement inked in 1972, the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978, the China-Japan Joint Declaration of 1998 and a joint statement on advancing strategic and mutually-beneficial relations in a comprehensive way that was signed in 2008.

The two sides need to uphold the political foundation for China-Japan relations strictly according to the spirit of the four-point agreement, Yang said during the meeting.

They need to ensure the right direction, properly and timely handle sensitive issues, take concrete action to build political mutual trust and gradually put bilateral ties on a track of sound development, Yang said.

A long-term, healthy and stable growth of China-Japan relations serves the fundamental interests of both countries and their people, and it is China’s consistent position to grow China-Japan relations on the basis of the four political documents in the spirit of “taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future,” Yang said.

The Chinese side has reiterated its position, urging the Japanese side to face up to and properly handle such issues of great sensitivity as history and the Diaoyu Islands and work with the Chinese side for the improvement and growth of the bilateral relations, Yang said.

Yachi said during the meeting that Japan attaches great importance to the strategic relationship of mutual benefit with China.

Japan stands ready to proceed from the overall interests, conduct dialogue and consultation with China to enhance common understanding and mutual trust, and properly handle disagreement and sensitive issues, the news release quoted Yachi as saying.

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