CRI在线收听:Premier Li's visit expected to boost China-Japan ties


Li Keqiang is the first Chinese premier to visit Japan in eight years.

The trip is widely seen as the latest sign of improvement in bilateral relationship.

Niwa Uichiro, Chair of the Japan-China Friendship Association and also former Japanese Ambassador to China, is suggesting that both sides are willing to enhance ties against such a backdrop.

"In the past year, China-Japan ties have not been smooth or stable. But we have just experienced the 45th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan relations. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Both sides are willing to improve our ties."

China-Japan relations have gone through twists and turns in recent years.

Signs of improvement began to turn up just months ago after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent positive messages on a number of occasions on enhancing bilateral relationship.

As a result of that, bilateral trade rallied to some 300 billion U.S. dollars last year.

The number of tourists going to Japan from Chinese mainland also rose 15 percent to over 7 million.

As far as Li's visit is concerned, Uichiro holds much expectation.

"The communication between China and Japan lost momentum in the past several years. But as we mark the 40th anniversary of the China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty, Premier Li's visit will definitely improve the ties between China and Japan."

Uichiro also suggest much more work should be done to maintain this positive momentum.

"China and Japan should enhance their communication, especially among the youth and teenagers. We should also promote economic cooperation. The two countries should abide by the four political documents since they established diplomatic ties in 1972 and work to promote their friendship."

High on Li Keqiang's agenda in Japan will be a trilateral meeting with South Korean president and Japanese prime minister on Wednesday.

He will also hold bilateral meetings with Shinzo Abe and the Japanese Emperor.

A trip to Hokkaido will also be made before his visit wraps up this Friday. 

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