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Li Keqiang Meets with President of Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade Kono Yohei

On the afternoon of April 14, 2015, Premier Li Keqiang met at the Great Hall of the People with President of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade (JAPIT) Kono Yohei and a large delegation consisting of members from Japanese economic circles led by him.

Li Keqiang expressed that the current China-Japan relations are still faced with difficulties, and at the same time the two sides hope to improve bilateral relations. The Chinese government attaches importance to developing relations with Japan. In the spirit of taking history as a mirror and looking into the future, China is ready to continue to advance China-Japan strategic reciprocal relationship based on the four political documents between the two countries, and jointly safeguard peace, stability, development and prosperity in East Asia with countries in this region.

Li Keqiang pointed out that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-fascist War and the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. China-Japan relations are faced with challenges as well as opportunities. The key lies in how Japan will treat and deal with historical issues. The "Kono Statement" that Mr. Kono Yohei once made has showed courage and responsibility of a statesman. The "Kono Statement", together with the "Murayama Statement", reflected the correct attitude which the Japanese government should adopt in dealing with historical issues. Under the current circumstances, we hope that the Japanese side could take the long-term development of relations with its Asian neighbors into consideration, deal with relevant issues in a proper manner, and send out a positive message of facing the history squarely.

Li Keqiang emphasized that China and Japan are close neighbors to each other and major economies in the world with high complementarity in cooperation. We hope that the Japanese side will seize the opportunity to improve and develop bilateral relations in order to create favorable conditions for the development of economic and trade relations between China and Japan.

Kono Yohei said that members of the JAPIT have made a long-term commitment to promoting friendly cooperation between Japan and China. The pain and harm brought to Japan's Asian neighbors by the war 70 years ago should never be forgotten, and the Japanese people were also victims of that war. They have not forgotten the history and they can never forget the history. Their visit to China is rightly based on the spirit of facing the history squarely and looking into the future. The Japanese side would like to see momentum of improvement of the Japan-China relations and hopes that bilateral relations will develop toward a better direction. People from all walks of life in Japan pay attention to China's economic development and attach importance to China's initiative to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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