Li meets with Tokyo's envoy, urges Japan to nurture ties

Updated: 2016-05-02 02:50

By Hu Yongqi(China Daily)

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Premier Li Keqiang urged Japan to stick to peaceful development and maintain positive policies toward China as a means of improving relations during his meeting with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida over the weekend.

Healthy and stable ties between China and Japan are in the interest of both countries and people, and they contribute to regional and global stability and prosperity, Li told Kishida on Saturday.

Despite some setbacks in the past few years, Sino-Japanese relations are improving, though they are still fragile, the premier said. China is willing to increase the political trust with the neighbor and promote their bilateral relations back to a normal track of development, he said.

"China hopes Japan will maintain peaceful development and make real steps toward fulfilling its agreement to take up opportunities created by China’s peaceful development," Li said.

He also said Japan should appropriately manage sensitive elements that can substantially affect bilateral relations, and create a positive atmosphere to resume bilateral dialogues and the trilateral leaders’ meeting of China, South Korea and Japan.

Kishida said Japan is willing to show mutual respect, strengthen political trust and manage disputes. He said Japan will expand cooperation with China in various fields to accumulate positive factors that could boost relations.

Kishida is making his first official visit to China, from Friday to Sunday, since becoming foreign minister more than three years ago. He is the first Japanese foreign minister to visit China since Shinzo Abe was re-elected as Japanese prime minister in 2012.

Earlier on Saturday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Kishida, before the visitor met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi and the premier in the afternoon.

Gao Hong, director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Japan’s actions are the key to improving bilateral relations, as the country has created issues that hamper China’s fundamental interests and has broken its promises for cooperation instead of confrontation, especially in maritime rights.