BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Vice President Xi Jinping on Friday met with former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio, who is in Beijing as part of a non-governmental exchange program, to discuss the development of bilateral ties.
"The two sides should jointly maintain the political foundation of China-Japan relations in a bid to serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples," Xi said.
"The difference and disputes between the two nations should be addressed through negotiation and consultation," Xi added.
Xi pointed out that China and Japan have many shared interests, as well as growing common challenges, at a time when the international and regional situation is undergoing profound transitions and the world economy experiencing slow recovery.
"China-Japan relations are playing an increasingly significant role in Asia and the world," Xi said, urging the two sides to increase dialogue in order to further enrich China-Japan strategic and mutually beneficial relations and make contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. According to Xi, various activities have been arranged to celebrate the anniversary.
"I hope the two sides will increase political mutual trust and keep to expand cooperation," Xi said.
In his turn, Hatoyama Yukio voiced a commitment to continue to promote the growth of China-Japan relations, as well non-governmental exchanges between the two peoples.
He also said the two sides should work closer to step up east Asian integration.