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September 10, 2009

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Wen pledges strong ties with Japan's new leaders

PREMIER Wen Jiabao yesterday praised the incoming Japanese government's policies toward China and said there would be stronger cooperation with Japan's new Cabinet.

The Democratic Party of Japan swept the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party from power in an election late last month and has vowed to bolster economic performance and seek better ties with the country's neighbors.

DPJ leader Yukio Hatoyama, virtually assured of becoming prime minister, has also pledged not to visit the Yasukuni shrine to war dead while convicted war criminals are honored there.

Many Asian nations see the Tokyo shrine as an offensive symbol of past military aggression.

"China appreciates the active attitude of the DPJ leader toward the relationship with China and is ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with Japan's new Cabinet," Wen told a Japanese business delegation in Beijing yesterday morning.

"China expects to work together with Japan to enhance mutual trust, carry forward traditional ties and boost strategic and mutually beneficial relations between the two countries," the premier told Fujio Mitarai, chairman of the Japan Business Federation and chairman of Canon Inc.

Mitarai is leading a delegation of 140 Japanese business executives and officials on a week-long visit to China.

Wen said the growth of China-Japan friendship is in the fundamental interests of both countries and aids stability and development in Asia.

On the economic front, Wen said, "No single country or region alone can recover from the global economic downturn."

As two of the world's major economies, China and Japan are important trading partners and should work together to tackle the downturn, Wen said.

Despite the world recession, China-Japan trade grew 13 percent to US$266.8 billion last year.


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