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China, Japan vow to continue dialogue through ruling party mechanism



BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Senior party officials from China and Japan called their first regular dialogue "frank" and "insightful" as they concluded a one-and-half-day meeting in Beijing Wednesday morning.

    Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) Central Committee, said that both sides showed sincerity and motivation in carrying out the dialogue in an "extensive and practical" way.

    Hidenao Nakagawa, the No. 3 leader of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said exchanges between the ruling parties of Japan and China are an important channel of communication between the two countries. He said although there are differences of opinion between the two sides, he sincerely hopes that the dialogue will continue.

    Nakagawa, chairman of the party Policy Research Council, headedthe 8-member delegation of the Japanese ruling coalition to Beijing, which took part in the first meeting under a mechanism of exchanges between the governing parties of China and Japan. Among the Japanese delegation is Yoshihisa Inoue, Policy Research Council chairman of LDP's alliance Komei Party.

    The Chinese side was headed by Wang Jiarui and consisted of some 20 prominent figures.

    The two sides fully expressed their views on the current state and problems of China-Japan relations, the prospects for bilateral relations, trade and economic cooperation, foreign policies and defense policies.

    The major difference lies in the issue of Japanese leader's visit to a war shrine honoring 14 convicted war criminals during Japan's war of aggression against China and other Asian countries.

    Wang said China-Japan relations are now "at a critical crossroad facing the historic challenge of what course to follow."

    The root of the problem lies in the Japanese leader's insistence on visiting the Yasukuni Shrine that honors top-class war criminals of the World War II.

    The current state of China-Japan relations is abnormal and disharmonious, Wang said.

    He noted that the CPC and the Chinese government have a clear guideline, sincere motivation and earnest attitude toward the development of good-neighborly, friendly and cooperative relationship with Japan. However, the Chinese side has yet to receive any positive response from the Japanese side, Wang said.

    During the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of China's victory in the war against Japanese aggression last September, Chinese President Hu Jintao said the nation's emphasis on the needto always remember the past does "not mean to continue the hatred." Hu reaffirmed the policy to carry forward China-Japan friendship and cooperation.

    The president also called on the Japanese government and its leaders to translate the apologies and remorse of the war into concrete actions.

    However, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid yet another visit to the Yasukuni Shrine last October. He said later that he would continue to visit the controversial war shrine. Koizumi even went on to say that t