Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with visiting
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on October 8th,
Koizumi thanked President Jiang for the meeting. He said that this was the first time he had visit China and the Lugou Bridge (Marco Polo Bridge) as well as the Memorial Hall of the War of Resistance against Japanese aggression. He had come to understand the miseries of war and offered “heartfelt apology and mourning" for the Chinese people who died in Japan's aggressive war half a century ago. Koizumi said, “I have seen for myself the brutal scenes of war exhibited in the Memorial Hall, and I come to know that the wound of war was immeasurable. Japan would learn from its deep introspection into history and would not let such a war reoccur”. He said, “in those days, Japan rejected the advice of international community, cling obstinately to its own course, which led to the consequence. Japan will learn from its history, take a peaceful road and continue to coordinate and cooperate with the international community”. Japan highly values the relations with China, which are vital for the basic interests of people in both countries and for the peace and stability of Asia and the world at large.
President Jiang said, "China welcomes the visit of Prime Minister Koizumi who has the will to improve bilateral relations". He noted Koizumi had made positive comments on China-Japan relations several times since assuming the post of Prime Minister. But "the important thing is action, and your action this time to visit the Memorial Hall is meaningful," Jiang said, stressing that correctly treating historical issues is the political foundation for Sino-Japanese relations and the starting point for looking to the future. Jiang remarked: "I have been consistently advocating the principle of taking history as a mirror and looking forward to the future in handling China-Japan relations". The bilateral ties have experienced twists and turns. When bilateral relations go smoothly, exchanges between the two countries in all dimensions are increasing, and when there are difficulties occurred, they are always linked to the issue of history textbooks and Yasukuni Shrine. Jiang noted that the Yasukuni Shrine keeps the sacrificial tablets of Class-A war criminals, and if Japanese leaders go there to worship, it creates a serious problem, adding "Asian people are very sensitive to Japan's possible repetition of its aggressive history."
On the history textbook issue, Jiang stressed that for the promotion of bilateral friendship for generations to come, it is necessary to tell the true story to the younger generation. Next year will mark the 30th anniversary for the normalization of China-Japan relations, Jiang said, noting that he expects both sides will hold celebrating activities to increase mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.
The two sides exchanged views on issues of common concern, including the up-coming APEC summit in Shanghai and combating international terrorism.