Japanese paper: Fukuda's visit to China to open path for true friendship

2007-12-25 22:16:10 Xinhua English

TOKYO, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's upcoming visit to China will help promote mutual understanding and open a path for the development of true friendship, a Japanese newspaper said Wednesday.

The Japanese-language Tokyo Shimbun newspaper said in an editorial that although Japan and China hold different views on the East China Sea issue and the Taiwan issue, frank exchange of views and increase of mutual understanding will open a path for the development of true friendship.

Exchanges of high-level visits between the two countries had been halted for around five years, due to former premier Koizumi Junichiro's repeated visits to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine. Last October, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's China tour has reopened high-level visits, the paper said.

Fukuda, who attaches importance to Asian diplomacy, will start his trip to Beijing on Thursday. China has extended welcome to Fukuda's visit, the editorial said.

During the four-day official visit, the premier is expected to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao. He will also meet with top legislator Wu Bangguo.

The paper said that Fukuda will also visit Qufu of east China's Shandong Province, the hometown of Confucius, noting that it would help enhance the Chinese people's sentiment toward Japan.