Hu Jintao Meets with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
2005-04-24

On the evening of April 23, Chinese President Hu Jintao met in the hotel where he stayed with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi following his attendance to the Asia-Africa Summit.

Hu said he would like to exchange views with Prime Minister Koizumi frankly from the overall perspective of the stable development of China-Japan relations and the friendship between the two peoples. He hoped to take this opportunity to push China-Japan relations to a track of sound and stable development.

Hu pointed out China-Japan relations are facing with difficulties at present and the leaders of the two nations need to handle it seriously. The tough situation of bilateral relations is not what we wish to see. Both China and Japan are influential countries in Asia and the world. If we cannot handle bilateral relations well, it would not only do harm to both parties but will also affect the stability and development of the Asia. The leaders of the two nations should be farsighted and highly responsible so as to find a proper solution and safeguard China-Japan friendship as well as stability and development of Asia.

Hu said the Chinese government has always been prioritizing China-Japan relations and pursuing China-Japan friendship. We have repeatedly stressed that the friendship between the two peoples must be maintained generation after generation and have made unswerving efforts to this end. He frankly exchanged views with Mr. Prime Minister on China-Japan relations last November in Santiago. He said the remarkable progress since the normalization of the diplomatic relations between China and Japan is a result of the collective efforts by several generations of leaderships and people of insight. We must highly value the hard-won result. He mentioned in particular this year marks the 60th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War. Thus it is an important yet sensitive year for China-Japan relations. We need to appropriately deal with some important issues, particularly the issue of history, the visit to Yasukuni Shrine and the Taiwan question. However, the recent deeds by the Japanese side has violated its own commitments, damaged the political basis for bilateral relations, and hurt the feelings of the people of China and other Asian countries. This will surely lead to the dissatisfaction of the people of China and other Asian countries. The Japanese side should reflect on the strong reactions of the general public in China and other Asian countries.

Hu said the history of China-Japan relations proves that harmony benefits both and confrontation hurts both. If we cannot handle China-Japan relations well, we will ruin the long-term efforts by the older generation of leaders and people of insight. It will also impair the fundamental interests of the two peoples, for which they will not agree. It is the common aspiration of both peoples to further consolidate and develop China-Japan friendly cooperation. Despite the difficulties in China-Japan relations, China remains committed to developing China-Japan friendly cooperative relations. It is hoped that China and Japan can stick to peaceful co-existence, maintain friendship generation after generation, conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and achieve common development. Under the current circumstances, we need to take up pragmatic measures to reverse the tough situation of China-Japan relations and push forward the sound and stable development of bilateral relations.

Hu proposed 5 propositions for the development of China-Japan relations. First, to strictly adhere to the three political documents, namely, the Sino-Japanese Joint Communiqué, Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship and Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration and remain committed to developing China-Japan friendly cooperative relations oriented to the 21st century. Second, to truly stick to the principles of "regarding history as a mirror and looking into the future". The aggression war initiated by the Japanese militants has brought severe disasters to the Chinese people and great harm to the Japanese people as well. To correctly understand and treat history, Japan needs to reflect on the aggression war seriously with actual deeds and never do things that hurt the feelings of the people of China and other Asian countries. Third, to properly handle the Taiwan question. Taiwan represents China's core interest and concerns the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese people. The Japanese government has indicated on a number of occasions that it sticks to the one-China policy and does not support "Taiwan independence". Japan is expected to fulfill the above commitments with actual deeds. Fourth, to appropriately address the differences between China and Japan through dialogues and consultations on an equal footing, actively explore the methods to settle the difference and avoid interfering with China-Japan friendship. Fifth, to further enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of areas and boost civil friendly exchanges so as to enhance mutual understanding, expand common interest and push forward the sound and stable development of China-Japan relations.

Koizumi said it is very important to develop Japan-China friendship. This is not only conducive to both countries, but also will exert important impact on Asia and the international community. China's rapid development is not a threat to Japan, but an opportunity. This idea has been accepted by an increasing number of people. Koizumi said Japan would like to actively promote Japan-China friendly cooperative relations in line with the 5 propositions proposed by President Hu. As for the history issue and the Taiwan question, the Japanese government will abide by the principles set by the three political documents. The stance has not changed. He also said he fully agreed with President Hu's suggestion to address the differences between Japan and China through dialogues.

Hu finally expressed the hope that both sides can take the opportunity of the meeting to take pragmatic actions to settle differences, overcome difficulties and ensure the sound and stable development of China-Japan relations.

Following the meeting, Hu met with the journalists and shared with them the views and principled stance he stated during the meeting.

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