Japan, China express willingness to better ties

Tokyo, Aug 12 (IANS) On the occasion of 35th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978, China and Japan Monday expressed willingness to improve their bilateral ties.

The Japanese government said that Japan is willing to improve its ties with China and the relationship with Beijing remains one of Tokyo's most important bilateral ties.

In a statement, a foreign ministry spokesperson said here that to follow the treaty serves both countries' interests as well as regional and international interests, Xinhua reported.

The treaty came after the normalisation of bilateral ties between China and Japan in 1972, affirming the principles in the China-Japan Joint Statement inked in the same year.

The spokesperson said he hopes that particular problems between Japan and China would not affect the entire bilateral ties.

Earlier in the day, Chinese government said that the peace treaty should be commemorated and followed well.

Long-term, stable and friendly relations between the two neighbours serve the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

The treaty signed by the two countries affirms the principles in the China-Japan joint statement inked in 1972. It defines the direction of China-Japan friendship from generation to generation, Hong said.

The treaty consolidates the political foundation for the long-term development of bilateral relations.

Relations between China and Japan soured following the Japanese government's unilateral move in September 2012 to "nationalise" part of the Diaoyu Islands which, China says, have been Chinese territory since ancient times.

The islands are called "Diaoyu" in China but "Senkaku" in Japan. The row over the islands, which are presently controlled by Japan, has left ties between Tokyo and Beijing highly tense.

Japan claims to be occupying the islands since 1895, while China maintains the islands were recognised as Chinese territory as early as 1783.

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