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China Japan Relations
Special> China Japan Relations
UPDATED: April 9, 2007 NO.15 APR.12, 2007
Enhancing Cooperation
Premier Wen's visit is very important. We wish to promote such a good atmosphere between the two countries. We expect it will provide an impetus to move each issue forward, for example, cooperation on the environment or cooperation in cultural exchanges

I think my understanding is that both countries, both governments and peoples have increasingly realized that for Japan, China is a very important country. For China, Japan is very important. We should have better relations. This is of interests to both countries. I have been working in Beijing for three years. I feel very strongly that last year and this year more and more people understand that we should have better relations. We share common challenges and tasks. We should tackle problems together if there are problems. In the Japanese Government, and in the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, we are fully aware that for Japan China is a very important country, and we should work hard to have more fruitful cooperation with China.

China and Japan have cooperated in many areas and both sides agree that this cooperation should be deepened. What will be done to carry this out?

We are neighbors. We have some common challenges and tasks, such as environmental protection and energy. We have very frequent exchanges, such as large-scale exchanges of people. Leaders' meetings should provide a good impetus for further cooperation between the two countries.

Japan has always tried to help developing countries. When China began its reform and opening-up policy, we started assistance to China. China is still a developing country, yet its role may be slowly changing. Twenty years ago, when China started its reform and opening-up policy, its economic status was still developing. Although China is still a developing country, it has started to help African and Asian countries on a massive scale. Japan is also helping African countries. We hope that in the future, Japan and China will cooperate. China's role is changing. Before, China was only a recipient of assistance and now China is a very important donor. Japan is also a donor. We can jointly help African countries. In this context, China's development is helpful to Japan. China's development gives us new possibilities to cooperate together.

It is sometimes difficult to help others. Just giving money or lending money is not good. We should help others so that the recipient country or government can eventually help itself. For that purpose, good governance is very necessary. We need some coordination, or at least discussion on how to help African countries so they will achieve good governance. It is cumbersome work. It takes lots of energy to achieve this cooperation. To help others jointly is no easy task. We need to have discussions. At this moment, this is at a primitive stage. This is a future task for us.

China and Japan are close neighbors across a narrow strip of water. We often say that the friendship between the two countries will be passed from generation to generation. What will be done to promote the friendship?

I have been in Beijing for three years. I have met Chinese people, young and old. They often say that their perception of Japan dramatically changed after their visit to Japan. I am making a snap judgment, but my understanding is that in China there are still some limits or some bias among ordinary Chinese people in their perception of Japan. We sincerely hope that Chinese people will have more opportunities to know Japan. We started some projects recently. We began some youth exchange programs last year. In 2006, the Japanese Government invited about 1,000 Chinese high school students to Japan. This year, we expanded the number to 2,000. We have had discussions with the Japan China Friendship Association in China. They have also started a program to invite Japanese students to China. We encourage the children to know each other, so that they have direct feelings about the Japanese people and Chinese people.

Mutual understanding is not enough. We should encourage people, especially young people, to know each other.

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