TOKYO: The 12th Beijing-Tokyo Forum kicked off Tuesday in Tokyo, with over 600 experts, former officials and private sector representatives from China and Japan discussing key issues affecting bilateral relations in an effort to enhance ties and bridge differences.
Tang Jiaxuan, president of the China-Japan Friendship Association and former state councilor, said in a keynote speech that China-Japan relationship, disturbed by a variety of issues in recent years, has not returned to normal track yet.
He said that both China and Japan shall have a sense of urgency regarding the current situation and make joint efforts to develop bilateral relations based on the spirit of four important political documents between China and Japan and the four-point principled agreement.
He called on the two sides to take history as a mirror while facing up to the future based on the current realities. The two sides shall properly handle and control old and new conflicts, and in the meantime enhance practical communication and cooperation so as to promote steady improvement and development of bilateral relations, he said.
He also said the Beijing-Tokyo Forum is an important platform for discussing, studying and promoting bilateral relations and expressed hope that participants of the forum could advocate rational thinking on bilateral relations and spread positive messages to promote bilateral relations.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, for his part, called on both sides at the forum to draw on collective wisdom from all sectors of society to promote bilateral relations.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said that the annual forum is an important channel for non-governmental dialogue and that he hopes the two sides could promote communication and cooperation in multiple ways.
Beijing-Tokyo Forum was launched by China Daily and non-profit Japanese organization Genron NPO in 2005. The forum was cosponsored by China International Publishing Group and Genron NPO since 2015.
The forum, held alternately in Beijing and Tokyo, aims to improve bilateral relationship and deepen understanding between China and Japan.
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