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China, Japan to further promote cultural, people-to-people exchanges

Updated: Nov 26,2019 07:03 AM    Xinhua

TOKYO — China and Japan agreed to make great progress in cultural and people-to-people exchanges and inject new impetus into bilateral relations that meet the requirements of the new era, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Tokyo on Nov 25.

Wang made the remarks while attending a reception for China-Japan people-to-people exchanges hosted by the Chinese embassy in Tokyo. Earlier on Nov 25, the two countries launched a high-level consultation mechanism on people-to-people exchanges.

Wang said that China and Japan are neighbors with a long history of exchanges of more than 2,000 years. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and Japan are gaining new vitality.

The two peoples have more frequent exchanges with each other. The number of visits between Chinese and Japanese people is expected to reach 12 million this year, equivalent to more than 30,000 daily between the two countries, Wang said. Back in 1972 when bilateral relations were normalized, the number was less than 10,000 for a year.

Chinese people see Japan as a popular destination for overseas travel. China welcomes more Japanese friends to visit different parts of its vast land and feel the rapid changes that are happening there, he said.

Wang noted that the mutual understanding between the two peoples has been deepening. With more and more communications with each other, the distance between heart and heart is getting closer.

This May, a Japanese youth wrote to President Xi Jinping about his own experience from never knowing China to falling in love with the country, expressing strong desire and belief in helping promote China-Japan friendship, Wang said. President Xi sent a reply to him, hoping that the youth of the two countries will make positive contributions to the bright future of bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries have become more colorful with increasing exchanges of books, films and TV programs, said Wang. As Tokyo and Beijing will host the Olympic Games next year and the Winter Olympics in 2022 respectively, he called on the two sides to strengthen mutual support and cooperation to ensure the success of the events.

Wang stressed that to promote people-to-people exchanges between China and Japan, the two peoples are the real protagonists, and the local areas are broad stages while the youth are the hope for the future. The two sides should work together to usher in a new era of exchanges between peoples, localities and youth.

More than 200 officials and celebrities from all walks of life of the two countries attended the reception, including former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda, Land and Transport Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Chinese ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou.