China, Japan to set up hotline between premiers

China and Japan have agreed to set up a hotline between the prime ministers of both countries.
China and Japan have agreed to set up a hotline between the prime ministers of both countries.

The agreement was reached at the talks between visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in Tokyo on May 31, reported the Xinhua News Agency.

Both leaders also agreed to hold negotiations to find a consensus on the East China Sea issue, speed up the introduction of a maritime communications mechanism between both defence departments and negotiate and sign an agreement on maritime rescue services as soon as possible.

Hatoyama stressed that Japan wishes to strengthen strategic relations with China as this would be mutually beneficial to both parties.

While addressing the representatives of several China-Japan friendship organisations and Chinese societies in Japan the day before, Wen said that both countries could set up a durable strategic partnership by enhancing mutual trust through joint actions such as coping with the recent global financial crisis.

Wen arrived in Tokyo on May 30 for a three-day official visit. This is the first visit by a Chinese premier to Japan since PM Hatoyama took office in September 2009. Previously, Wen had paid an "ice-melting" visit to the country in 2007.

During this trip, China and Japan plan to sign agreements on food safety, energy conservation, environmental protection and e-commerce.

Wen is expected to meet Japanese Emperor Akihito and the President of the House of Councillors and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Japan is the second leg of the Chinese premier’s four-nation Asian tour, which so far has taken him to the Republic of Korea and will also include Mongolia and Myanmar .

Earlier, Wen had attended a two-day trilateral summit with Japan and the RoK on Jeju island, which focused on the sinking of the RoK’s warship the Cheonan.

At the meeting, Wen said that China will continue to enhance communications with all relevant parties in order to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia .

“The pressing task now is to handle the serious damage to relations caused by the sinking and gradually ease tensions over it, while avoiding a conflict at any cost,” said Wen.

He added that as the region faces many new challenges, China , Japan and the RoK need to coordinate any actions between them, appropriately deal with sensitive issues and increase mutual trust./.

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