TOKYO, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Japan will hold a series of activities marking the 45th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations this year and the 40th anniversary of a bilateral peace and friendship treaty next year, said Sadayuki Sakakibara, chairman of Japan Business Federation, here on Wednesday.
Sakakibara, head of an executive committee for holding the activities, said at the first conference of the committee here that Japan hopes to further enhance friendly exchanges with China through these activities.
Yasuo Fukuda, former Japanese Prime Minister and senior advisor to the committee, said China's economy is growing steadily and with a strong drive in general and Japan needs to strengthen economic cooperation with China for its own sake and for regional development.
Cheng Yonghua, the chinese ambassador to Japan, said he was glad to see the establishment of the executive committee here in Japan as it showed that the commemorative work here was making steady headway.
He also said leaders of China and Japan had reached consensus last year that the two sides shall make the most of the two anniversaries and build on the positive elements of bilateral ties while putting a lid on negative ones in order to ensure stable improvement of relations.
He urged the two sides to implement the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and to properly address sensitive issues, so as to create a more positive atmosphere for holding the commemorative activities this year and next year.
Some 200 people from Japanese political and economic circles attended the first conference of the committee which had been set up to mark the anniversaries.
China and Japan normalized diplomatic relations in 1972 after reaching important consensus on properly handling history, Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands and other issues.
The two countries further concluded a bilateral peace and friendship treaty in 1978.