On the afternoon of March 23, 2012, Vice President Xi Jinping met at the Great Hall of the People with former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, who is in Beijing as part of a non-governmental exchange program.
Xi said 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. The leaders of the two countries have set this year as the Year of China-Japan National Exchange and Friendship and various activities in multiple areas have been arranged to celebrate the event. He hoped that the two sides will continue to enhance mutual political trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and promote new development of China-Japan relations.
Xi pointed out that China and Japan have many shared interests, as well as growing common challenges, at a time when the international and regional situation is undergoing profound transitions and the world economy experiencing slow recovery. "China-Japan relations are playing an increasingly significant role in Asia and the world," Xi said, urging the two sides to increase dialogue, exchanges and cooperation at bilateral, regional and global levels in order to further enrich China-Japan strategic and mutually beneficial relations and make contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.
"The two sides should jointly maintain the political foundation of China-Japan relations in a bid to serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples," Xi said. "Relevant issues between the two nations should be addressed through negotiation and consultation to maintain the overall situation of bilateral ties," Xi added.
In his turn, Hatoyama Yukio agreed with Xi's views on the development of Sino-Japanese relations and hoped that both sides will review the important consensus reached by the older generations of leaders of the two countries on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations. He urged both sides to constantly enhance mutual political trust, actively promote Japan-China people-to-people friendly exchanges, remain committed to advancing China-Japan-ROK and East Asian integration cooperation, and push forward bilateral ties.
Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, President of the Chinese People's Association of Friendship with Foreign Countries Li Xiaolin and Japanese Ambassador to China Niwa Uichiro were present at the meeting.