Japan and China should proceed from the big picture to steadily develop their friendly and cooperative ties as the two countries share major responsibility for regional and world peace and prosperity,said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe made the remarks in a written interview with Chinese media ahead of his three-day official visit to China scheduled from Thursday, which will mark the first time since 2011 for a Japanese prime minister to visit China officially.
As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Abe said the treaty marks the starting point for bilateral relationship between Japan and China.
He said he hopes to commemorate the anniversary together with the Chinese side during his visit and have frank exchanges with Chinese leaders on regional and world issues, in order to expand cooperation in all areas and facilitate greater development of bilateral ties.
He also said that it's normal for the two countries, as neighbors, to have differences over some issues.
Japan and China, in building a strategic and mutually beneficial relationship, have the responsibility to properly deal with those issues and steadily develop their friendly and cooperative ties from the big picture, he noted.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. Abe said that China has achieved remarkable development during the past 40 years and has become the world's second largest economy.
As bilateral trade between China and Japan has reached around 300 billion U.S. dollars, and the economies of the two countries are inseparable, said Abe, adding that with no doubt, China's economic development is a huge opportunity and shall be welcomed by both Japan and the world.
Meanwhile, Japan has rich experience in dealing with issues such as environmental pollution and population aging, which can provide reference for China's further reform and opening-up, he said.
The prime minister also said that it's of great significance to meet the strong infrastructure need of Asia, the center of world economic development, and he hoped that Japanese and Chinese private companies will cooperate to meet the booming infrastructure demand of Asia.
On the Taiwan issue, Abe reaffirmed Japan's adherence to its position stated in the 1972 Japan-China Joint Statement.
Regarding the global free trade system, Abe said it is of great significance to reinforce economic order based on free and fair trade rules under the current circumstances. Any tit-for-tat trade war will benefit no one.
As the largest beneficiaries of the free trade system, Japan and China should keep cooperating to reinforce multilateral free trade systems such as the World Trade Organization, Abe said.
Abe also said that Japan and China share significant responsibility to contribute to the stability and prosperity of Asia and the world, and that the two countries shouldering the responsibility together is also a response to the expectations of the international community.
He said that his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last November is a new starting point for Japan-China relations. Moreover, since Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Japan in May this year, bilateral relationship has been back on the normal track.
Abe also said that his talks with President Xi in Vladivostok, Russia in September and his scheduled visit to China this time mean that the bilateral relationship is advancing steadily toward a new phase.
He hopes that the Japan-China relationship could be brought into a new era through frequent mutual visits by leaders of the two countries, Abe added.