Dialogue and exchanges in need for China-Japan ties

Updated: 2013-10-26 14:15

By Zhang Yunbi (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Dialogue and exchanges in need for China-Japan ties

Masato Kitera, Japanese Ambassador to China makes a speech at the ninth Beijing-Tokyo Forum in Beijing, Oct 26, 2013. [Photo by Feng Yongbin / chinadaily.com.cn]

Dialogue and exchanges in need for China-Japan ties

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Japanese Ambassador to China Masato Kitera expressed deep concerns about the strained relationship between China and Japan when he was addressing the opening ceremony of Beijing-Tokyo Forum on Saturday.

The ambassador told China Daily he was amazed at the scene of several hundred opinion leaders, including veteran diplomats, entrepreneurs and scholars gathering at the forum.

Poll numbers of an annual public opinion survey conducted by China Daily and the nonprofit Japanese organization Genron NPO have shown that the goodwill between the two peoples has dropped to a record low.

"I am surprised that there are so many people gathering in here. I think it is really a very good seminar. I am looking forward to enjoying (the events of) today and tomorrow," he said.

During his speech, Kitera mentioned the deteriorating sentiment between the neighbors when citing the poll result. "I am greatly worried about this," he said.

"To improve such kind of public feelings to make the two countries real friends indeed, we believe it is of great importance to conduct direct dialogue and exchanges in various dimensions," Kitera said.

In a retrospect to the past four decades since the two neighbors normalized their diplomatic relations in 1972, the ambassador underscored the fact that bilateral trade has expanded 300 times while the annual number of visitors in between has surged by 500 times.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the signing of China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty, and the ambassador said, "what Japan and China can join hands to embark on are like the countless stars in the sky."