BEIJING - China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Japan in disaster relief and reconstruction, said Vice President Xi Jinping here on Wednesday.
In a meeting with a group of Japanese lawmakers from the Japanese Diet's Japan-China Friendship League led by the organization's President Masahiko Komura, Xi conveyed his deepest condolences to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March.
"As Japan's close neighbor and a country that also suffers frequent natural disasters, China shares the same feelings," Xi said. He added that the assistance China has provided and the rescue team it sent embody the Chinese people's friendly sentiments towards the Japanese people.
"We hope the Japanese people will overcome difficulties and rebuild their homeland as soon as possible," Xi said.
The vice president also spoke highly of the role the Japan-China Friendship League has played in promoting their bilateral relationship, and called on the two countries to further improve ties.
"China values its relations with Japan. We will work with the Japanese side to further enhance mutual political trust, strengthen communication and cooperation in all areas, develop better sentiments between the two peoples, and properly handle sensitive issues to create a sound environment for the 40th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral ties next year," he said.
Komura expressed gratitude for the sympathy and assistance from the Chinese government and people after the Japan quake.
He stressed the role of youth exchanges in enhancing bilateral communication, and called on the two sides to strengthen such communication to promote the Japan-China strategic relationship of reciprocity.
The delegation was invited by the China-Japan Friendship Association.