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外交部 2022-10-10 233次



Stay True to the Original Aspiration and Carry Forward the Friendship for a Shared Future


– Speech by Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong at the Opening Ceremony of the Non-governmental Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Normalization of Diplomatic Relations between China and Japan


I am delighted to attend the opening ceremony of the non-governmental commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan on behalf of Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao. In a few days, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. At this important juncture, it is both opportune and of far-reaching significance for us to jointly take stock of the course of friendly exchanges between China and Japan, review historical experience and inspirations, and look ahead to the future of bilateral relations. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to the Executive Committee in China for the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Normalization of Diplomatic Relations between China and Japan, the China Public Diplomacy Association and other organizers, and express my respect and gratitude to all the friends who have supported, promoted and participated in the cause of China-Japan friendship.


President Xi Jinping said that China and Japan are each other’s important neighbors separated only by a narrow strip of water, with peace and friendship being the defining feature of bilateral relations in the hearts of the two peoples.

The millennium-year-long history of mutual learning and friendly exchanges between the two peoples and the strong bond of cultural ties between the two countries have provided a solid foundation and a source of strength for China-Japan relations, leaving behind many touching tales. On this occasion, I would like to share some stories of friendship between the two countries that impress me most.


The first story is about Zen master Yinyuan Longqi (Ingen Ryuki in Japanese), who traveled east to Japan and sowed the seeds of friendship between the two peoples. In the last years of the Ming Dynasty, Chinese Zen master Yinyuan Longqi was invited to Japan to promote Buddhism. The Obaku school of Zen that he founded became one of the three major Zen sects in Japan, with millions of worshipers. Moreover, he brought to Japan advanced culture and science and technology, known locally as “Obaku culture”, which had an important impact on the economic and social development of Japan during the Edo Period. The spirit of “moral support and mutual learning between the East and the West” upheld by Zen master Yinyuan Longqi has been passed on from generation to generation. It is still of exemplary significance for the friendly exchanges between China and Japan.


The second story is about the profound friendship between Lu Xun and his teacher Fujino Genkuro, which is an embodiment of “friendship knows no borders”. In his article “Mr. Fujino”, Mr. Lu Xun recalled how he made acquaintance and a friend of his Japanese teacher Fujino Genkuro. This article has been included in the Chinese textbook for middle schools in China and has influenced several generations of Chinese people. After parting with Mr. Fujino, Mr. Lu Xun missed him a lot, and said with profound affection that “Of all those I consider as my teachers, he is the one to whom I feel most grateful and who gave me the most encouragement”. In October 1936, when the news of Lu Xun’s death reached Japan, it is said that Mr. Fujino held the newspaper carrying Lu Xun’s photo above his head, and bowed several times to pay homage. In sorrow and grief, Mr. Fujino wrote a short and touching essay titled “Remembering Mr. Zhou Shuren” (Lu Xun is the pen name of Zhou Shuren).


The third story is about the Japanese Matsuyama Ballet Troupe overcoming difficulties and unswervingly promoting cultural exchanges between China and Japan. In 1958, the Matsuyama Ballet Troupe adapted the Chinese opera “The White-Haired Girl” into a ballet and staged it in China, causing a sensation. For more than half a century, the troupe has visited China to give performances for nearly 20 times, winning wide acclaim and writing a chapter of “ballet diplomacy” in the history of friendly exchanges between China and Japan. Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and other Chinese Party and state leaders cordially met with members of the Matsuyama Ballet Troupe many times. The founders of the troupe Shimizu Masao and Matsuyama Mikiko also won the cultural exchange contribution awards conferred by the Chinese government in 2004.


The fourth story is about the mutual assistance between the two peoples in overcoming difficulties in recent years, and joint effort to foster friendship in the new era. We will never forget the touching stories of the two peoples helping each other during the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and the devastating earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two peoples have joined hands to fight the pandemic, writing a chapter of mutual help and support, as described by the poetic lines like, “Though on different lands, we share the same sky”; “Mountains cannot keep us apart, we weather the storm together”. During the Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022, the Chinese mascot Bing Dwen Dwen was out of stock in Japan because of its rising popularity, and the Japanese figure skater Hanyu Yuzuru set off a wave of “Hanyu fever” in China. All these attest to the vitality and enthusiasm of the friendship between the people of the two countries.


Fifty years ago, with great political wisdom and strategic vision, the elder generation of leaders of the two countries made the important political decision to normalize the diplomatic relations between China and Japan, opening a new chapter of bilateral relations. The cause of peace, friendship and cooperation between China and Japan has benefited the two countries and peoples, and made important contributions to Asia and the world at large. It deserves to be cherished and we should make unremitting efforts in this regard.


President Xi Jinping has said that the China-Japan friendship is rooted among the people, and the future of China-Japan relations lies in the hands of the two peoples. Standing at the new starting point of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations, we hope friends from all walks of life in our two countries will renew the original aspiration of our two countries for peace and friendship, carry forward the tradition of friendship between our peoples, and conduct extensive exchanges and cooperation, including those among young people, so as to deepen and consolidate the foundation of China-Japan friendship. I am confident that with our joint efforts, China-Japan relations will make sustained progress, brim with renewed vigor and vitality, and embrace even brighter prospects for development.

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