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Wang Yi Addresses the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium Marking the 50th Anniversary of Normalization of Diplomatic Relations Between China and Japan via Video Link

2022-09-12 23:00

On September 12, 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the opening ceremony of the symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan via video link.

Wang Yi noted that 50 years ago, with extraordinary strategic vision and political courage, leaders of the older generation of the two countries broke the ice of the Cold War against all the odds, and took the political decision of normalizing diplomatic ties between China and Japan, turning a new page in the history of bilateral relations. Over the past 50 years, the two sides successively reached four political documents and a series of important consensus, laying a political and legal foundation for bilateral relations, and practical cooperation between the two sides in various fields has yielded fruitful results. Confucius said, "At fifty, one knows the biddings of heaven". To achieve good-neighborliness and friendship, and promote development and revitalization of Asia bear closely on the future of China and Japan. They are also the original aspiration and unshirkable responsibility of the two countries. 

Wang Yi said in the face of the turbulence and volatility in the world today, China-Japan relations have to press forward, or they will slide backward. As bilateral ties embark on the journey of the next 50 years, the two sides need to renew their original aspiration when establishing the diplomatic relations, take lessons from history, and work to promote sound and steady development of bilateral relations along the right track. They also need to contemplate on ways to build a China-Japan relationship that meets the needs of the new era, and adds new substance and impetus to bilateral relations.

In this connection, Wang Yi made the following five points:

The two sides should honor their commitments and safeguard the political foundation of China-Japan relations. As a Chinese saying goes, "One should keep his word in relations with others". To ensure bilateral relations stay on a steady and sustained course, the two sides must strictly abide by the four political documents they have reached, and honor the commitments made so far. On major issues of principle essential to the very foundation of China-Japan relations, such as history and Taiwan, there must be no ambiguity, still less any wavering or backpedaling.

The two sides should bear in mind the overall interests of bilateral relationship and keep it to the right direction. It is important that the two sides take a strategic and long-term perspective, bear in mind the fundamental interests of the two countries, and translate the political consensus of "being each other’s cooperative partners, not a threat" into policies and actions. They should rise above disturbances, and properly manage differences to ensure that the vessel of China-Japan relationship will not run aground or deviate from the course.

The two sides should deepen cooperation, and strive for win-win results at a higher standard. Currently, China-Japan cooperation enjoys even broader space for development. The two sides need to build a strong sense of partnership, adopt a global perspective, work together to reject the wrong practices of "decoupling or cutting off industrial and supply chains", keep global supply and industrial chains stable and smooth, and maintain a fair and open environment for trade and investment.

The two sides should foster positive and friendly mutual perception through more effective guidance. The people-to-people exchanges between China and Japan, which date back centuries, should be carried forward, and keep abreast of the times. For better mutual perception to be achieved, both sides need to seek harmony without uniformity, value peace, and avoid imposing one’s own values on the other side. The governments and media organizations on both sides need to create an enabling environment for people of the two countries to gain an objective and amicable understanding of each other.

The two sides should act in line with the trends of the times and practice true multilateralism. In the face of the profound changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century, China and Japan, two important countries in the region and the world, should see clearly the trends of the times toward multipolarity, globalization, diversity of civilizations, and regional integration, uphold the UN-centered international system, jointly oppose zero-sum game and bloc confrontation,and promote regional stability and integrated development, so as to inject more positive energy into the world.

Wang Yi emphasized that China and Japan are close neighbors facing each other across a narrow strip of water. Though on different lands, they share the same sky. Looking ahead at the next 50 years of China-Japan relations, the two sides should live up to their historical responsibility, make the right choice worthy of the trust and expectations of the past and future generations, and work hard to enhance and expand China-Japan relations, and create bright prospects for bilateral relations in the new era, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples, and make greater contributions to peace and development in the region and beyond.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in his video address that over the past 50 years since the normalization of diplomatic ties, Japan-China relations have achieved tremendous development. The two sides should bear in mind the wisdom and courage of the leaders of the older generation like former Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, and jointly dedicate themselves to building a constructive and stable Japan-China relationship in the next 50 years.

Under the theme of "Reviewing History for a Shared Future", the symposium, co-hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Japan and Keidanren and co-organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and seven Japanese organizations for bilateral friendship, was held both online and offline in Beijing and Tokyo. Friends from all walks of life in China and Japan attended the event.

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