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Top Chinese legislator meets Japanese Upper House delegation

    BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo met here with a delegation of Japanese Upper House on Wednesday, calling for enhanced parliamentary exchanges and bilateral ties.

    The current China-Japan relations generally maintain a sound momentum of growth, with close high-level contacts and active exchanges in all aspects, said Wu, National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee chairman.

    He described 2008 as significant for the development of bilateral ties as Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Japan. It will be the first time in the new century for a Chinese president to visit the country. During his visit Hu will map new blueprints for bilateral ties with Japanese leaders.

    The year 2008 has also been designated as the "China-Japan Friendly Exchange Year of the Youth" and marks the 30th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two nations. China will host the 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

    This would bring about important opportunities for Sino-Japan relations, Wu said. He added China was ready to make joint efforts with Japan to promote bilateral relations to achieve a long term stable growth.

    Hailing the important role of parliamentary exchanges played instate-to-state relations, Wu said the NPC had established regular exchange mechanisms with Japanese House of Councilors and House of Representatives, respectively. Fruitful meetings have been held, which deepened political trust and friendship between the two peoples and promoted bilateral ties.

    Wu voiced hope the two sides could continuously use the regular exchange mechanism as a platform to promote exchanges between representatives and councilors, deepen mutual understanding and trust, expand people-to-people exchanges and cooperation on energy and the environment, among others. This was to make contributions to stable and healthy China-Japan ties.

    Oishi Masamitsu, head of the delegation, said Japanese parties, the country's parliament and people increasingly felt the development of Sino-Japan relations does not only meet the interests of the two peoples, it also plays a great role in maintaining peace and stability in the region, as well as the world.

    Japan's House of Councilors will continue its efforts to deepen mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between the two countries, he added.

    Beijing and Tokyo signed a memorandum in October 2006 on setting up a regular legislative exchange mechanism, under which the two sides will host annual meetings in turn. The first meeting under the mechanism was held in March in Tokyo.

    The Japanese delegation is here to attend the second talks under the mechanism.

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