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Beijing-Tokyo Forum: For Healthy and Stable China-Japan Relations
Text by Alex Liu Photographs by Wan Quan

October 24, 2015: The bilateral politics and diplomacy panel holds its session during the Beijing-Tokyo Forum at China World Hotel in Beijing. Delegates from both China and Japan agreed that the two sides should take steps to resume bilateral and multilateral dialogues in various areas while avoiding sensitive issues in order to rebuild political trust and jointly promote peace and stability of East Asia.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, the highest-ranked Japanese consultant of the forum, admitted that current China-Japan relations were in difficulty. "The reason why we have to improve Japan-China political relations is that they are of great importance for peace, stability and development of Asia and the world," said Fukuda, quoting the proverb "Smart people learn from history and stupid people learn from experience."

According to Lu Fengding, vice chairman of China Public Diplomacy Association, the most urgent and important task for improving China-Japan relations is to carry out the four-point agreement reached between the two countries last November, and properly handle and control sensitive issues in Sino-Japanese ties. "Establishing mutual political trust is a significant prerequisite and long-term task for the stable development of bilateral relations between the two countries," he remarked.

Against the backdrop of decreasing volumes of trade and investment between China and Japan in recent years, delegates from both countries called for expanding economic cooperation.

Wei Jianguo, executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and former Vice-Minister of Commerce, suggested that the two countries expand cooperation in sectors like green economy, health care, modern agriculture, and new technology. "We hope Japanese enterprises will participate in the process of China"s economic restructuring and particularly make the service industry a key realm to explore in the Chinese market," he said.

Hirohide Yamaguchi, chairman of the Advisory Board of Nikko Financial Intelligence, Inc. and former deputy governor of the Bank of Japan, believed that it is important for Japan and China, two major economies in Asia and the world at large, to enhance economic cooperation. "In the future," he added, "well-established international financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank and emerging international financial institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank should work together and complement each other in promoting infrastructure construction in various Asian countries. In this regard, China-Japan cooperation enjoys a wide space for development."

Launched in 2005, the Beijing-Tokyo Forum has developed into one of the most important platforms for bilateral dialogue. Coming at a difficult time for China-Japan relations, this year"s forum was held to bridge the differences between the two countries and to improve ties through people-to-people communication. "No matter how difficult China-Japan relations become, we will do our best to deal with it. Holding this forum is one example of how our effort will extensively gather different voices while expanding consensus," declared CIPG President Zhou Mingwei.


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