Leaders of China and Japan say it’s important to develop ties

TOKYO, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday it was important to give positive direction to bilateral relations as the two leaders celebrated 50 years of normalized diplomatic relations in a context of growing tensions.

In a phone call, Xi told Kishida that he attaches “great importance” to the development of China-Japan relations and is willing to work with his Japanese counterpart to build these relations, state television reported. Chinese state CCTV.

In a message read at a reception in Tokyo to mark the milestone, Kishida told Xi that bilateral relations now face “many problems and challenges” and he hopes to pave the way for a “new future”. .

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

“Japan and China share great responsibility for achieving peace and prosperity in the region and the world,” Kishida said in the message to Xi.

“Ahead of the next 50 years…I hope to work with you to build constructive and stable China-Japan relations” to achieve this goal, he said.

Ties between China and Japan, the world’s second and third largest economies, have long been strained over disputed islands, regional influence and the legacy of Japanese occupation of part of the China in wartime.

Tensions escalated last month after a visit by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to Taiwan, which is self-governing but claimed by China. Beijing has launched missiles near Taiwan and into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

During the Tokyo reception, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said it was time to recall the spirit behind the normalization of bilateral relations half a century ago.

“I believe what we decided 50 years ago is that Japan and China do not fight each other and that we cooperate to build a relationship of peace and stability,” Fukuda told about 850 chiefs. business and politicians at the event.

“We need to remember the bonds that were agreed upon 50 years ago and devote all of our energy to maintaining those relationships for another 50, 100 years. There simply can’t be any other way,” he said. he declares.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Chang-Ran Kim, Yoshifumi Takemoto in TOKYO, additional reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Christian Schmollinger and Gerry Doyle

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.