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On October 24 and 25, 2015, the 11th Beijing-Tokyo Forum, jointly organized by China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and Japan"s Genron NPO, was held in Beijing. More than 500 senior government officials, diplomats and delegates from politics, economics, academics and media of both countries gathered to discuss various topics under the forum"s theme "Difficulties and Measures: How to Develop Long-term Healthy, Stable China-Japan Relations – East Asia"s Future and Roles to Be Played by Both Countries."
The forum took place amidst the signs of the ties between China and Japan appearing to rebound from the worst-ever tension since late 2012 when Japan unilaterally nationalized the Diaoyu Islands.
In November 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which was seen as a thawing of the chill in Sino-Japanese ties. The same month, the two countries reached a four-point agreement for improving bilateral ties, and agreed to resume political, diplomatic and security dialogue.
"The hard-earned agreement is a valuable step towards a better relationship," remarked Yang Bojiang, deputy head of the Institute of Japan Study of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "The two countries did it for the sake of a stable, healthy and sustainable relationship and regional peace and stability."
A joint public opinion survey report released by the forum"s organizers CIPG and Genron NPO also indicates that the "unfavorable" impression of each other"s country is showing signs of recovery from the worst level of the past couple of years, despite the fact that historical issues and island disputes remain obstacles to further improvement of China-Japan ties.
In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the forum, Minister of State Council Information Office Jiang Jianguo said that China and Japan are closer neighbors, and the two peoples learnt from each other and jointly contributed to the prosperity of eastern Asian civilization. "History shows that amity between China and Japan could lead to promotion of mutual interests while belligerence could only injure both. This is why China and Japan should enhance friendship so as to broaden common interest and to achieve win-win results," he added.