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Li Keqiang Attends and Addresses the Opening Ceremony of China-Japan Governor Forum

On the morning of May 11, 2018 local time, Premier Li Keqiang attended and addressed the opening ceremony of China-Japan Governor Forum at the hotel where he stayed in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was present.

Li Keqiang expressed that China and Japan are important and close neighbors. The healthy and steady development of bilateral relations conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples, and is conducive to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world. The two sides should, on the basis of the principles set forth in the four political documents between China and Japan, firmly grasp the general direction of peace, friendship, and cooperation to develop bilateral good-neighborly and friendly cooperation. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The two sides should review the spirit of the Treaty, consolidate the political foundation, and expand friendly cooperation, so as to bring China-Japan relations back to the normal track, achieving new, long-term and stable development.

Li Keqiang pointed out that exchanges and cooperation at local level are an important component of China-Japan relations and also serve as an important channel to promote non-governmental friendship between both countries. During this visit, the governments of China and Japan have reached numerous cooperation agreements, creating conditions and space for both countries to deepen cooperation at local level and between enterprises. Both sides agreed to carry out cooperation in innovative development, establish dialogue mechanism in innovation, and gradually promote both countries to conduct technical cooperation in the fields that meet the needs of economic and social development and people’s livelihood, such as high technology, tackling the problems brought by population aging and improving medical and health care. Meanwhile, intellectual property rights should be strictly protected. The two sides should give play to economic complementary advantages, jointly exploit the third-party market, form stronger competitiveness through cooperation, and avoid vicious competition. The two countries agreed to enhance cooperation in finance and sign a currency swap agreement as soon as possible. China has agreed to grant Japan the quota under the RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (RQFII), which will provide convenience for both countries to conduct investment and personnel exchanges, and tackle financial risks. It is hoped that the Japanese enterprises will make good use of the tool and actively expand investment in China.

Li Keqiang expressed that President Xi Jinping made it clear that China’s door of opening up will open even wider at Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018. During this process, China’s provinces stand ready to enhance integration cooperation with Japan's counterparts in the fields of high technology, high-end manufacturing and modern agriculture. Japan’s local governments and enterprises are welcome to actively participate in the course of China’s pursuit of high-quality development, so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

Shinzo Abe expressed that exchanges between sister cities in Japan and China have enjoyed constant development, becoming a source impetus of peaceful and friendly development between both countries as well as an uninterrupted bond of friendship. The two sides should further stimulate the vitality of local exchanges and strengthen cooperation in such fields as coping with population aging, local development, and tourism, so as to promote the development of Japan-China strategic and mutually beneficial relations.

Twelve provincial governors from China and Japan attended the Forum.

On the evening of May 10 local time, Li Keqiang left Tokyo for Sapporo, Hokkaido, continuing his official visit in Japan. Governor of Hokkaido Harumi Takahashi of Japan welcomed Li Keqiang at the airport.

Afterwards, Li Keqiang met with Harumi Takahashi at the hotel where he stayed in Sapporo.

Li Keqiang expressed that Hokkaido is an important agricultural base of Japan. China not only stands ready to cooperate with the Japanese side in the field of scientific and technological innovation, but also looks forward to tapping the potential for cooperation in modern agriculture. The Chinese side is willing to import high-quality, safe, and reassuring agricultural products meeting the needs of Chinese consumers from Japan and elevate the level of cooperation in related areas.

Harumi Takahashi expressed that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, and is an important and memorable year. Hokkaido stands ready to continuously strengthen exchanges at local level with China, and actively make contributions to constantly deepening Japan-China friendship.

Wang Yi and He Lifeng attended the above activities.

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