Premier Wen holds talks with Japanese prime minister

2007-12-27 19:01:14 Xinhua English

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) shakes hands with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during a welcoming ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China on Dec. 28, 2007. Yasuo Fukuda arrived here Thursday for a four-day official visit to China. (Xinhua Photo)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (L) hold a joint news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on Dec. 28, 2007. Yasuo Fukuda arrived here for an official visit to China from Dec. 27 to 30.(Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda Friday morning, and both stressed joint efforts to promote bilateral relations.

Wen said China-Japan relations have entered "an important period of improvement and development", adding that he would like to work with Fukuda to jointly seize opportunities so as to "promote a new and greater development of the strategic and mutually beneficial China-Japan relations".

Wen said he and Fukuda had a "friendly telephone call" only four days after Fukuda assumed his premiership. They also met and had luncheon together during an Asian summit in Singapore last month. "It can said that we have established a sound work relationship," the premier said.

The talks took place in the Great Hall of the People after a red-carpet welcome ceremony.

Fukuda described their talks as "a heart-to-heart dialogue" and said he was determined to treat the bilateral relations earnestly "in the new year to come".

He said the China-Japan relations were facing "huge opportunities and responsibilities". Fukuda hoped the two countries could conduct cooperation for the future of Asia and the world.

During their talks, Wen and Fukuda also touched upon the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Thursday. Both expressed strong opposition against terrorist activities.

After the talks, the two witnessed the signing of three cooperation documents in fields of youth exchanges, technical cooperation on climate change, and a new joint research on magnetic fusion energy.

Fukuda's visit, three months after he took office, is the first to China by a Japanese prime minister since Abe visited Beijing last October.

It is Fukuda's third overseas trip during his premiership after his visit to the United States and Singapore.

Later in the afternoon, Chinese President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo will meet with Fukuda after Fukuda delivered a speech at the elite Peking University.

Fukuda will also visit an economic development zone in Tianjin on Saturday and the hometown of Confucius in Qufu, Shandong Province, on Sunday before flying back to Japan.