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Fukuda Cabinet E-mail Magazine No.30 (May 08, 2008) ============================================================

"A warm welcome to President Hu Jintao. This is Yasuo Fukuda."
-- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister Yasuo FukudaProfile Japanese

A warm welcome to President Hu Jintao. This is Yasuo Fukuda.

Relations between Japan and the People's Republic of China were normalized in 1972, and that same year, two giant pandas, Kang Kang and Lan Lan, arrived in Japan from China. Ever since then, successive generations of children have adored the pandas of Ueno Zoo.

Unfortunately, however, the giant panda Ling Ling passed away at Ueno Zoo on April 30. The children who visited Ueno Zoo during the Golden Week vacation must have felt very sad indeed.

The day before yesterday, Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Japan for a State Visit. With his visit coming shortly after the death of Ling Ling, China has decided to lease a couple of giant pandas to Japan as a symbol of China-Japan friendship.

The pandas of Ueno Zoo have played a tremendous part in cementing friendly relations between Japan and China, and the two new pandas will undoubtedly help to strengthen the ties of friendship still further.

Our two countries need to increase youth exchanges, as well as other dialogues and exchanges in a range of different areas.

At the same time, the issues that act as obstacles to the consolidation of Japan-China friendship need to be resolved at the earliest possible opportunity.

The incident of toxic substances being mixed in with frozen dumplings made in China has yet to be resolved, and I believe many consumers in Japan feel very uneasy about the safety of food products.

At our summit meeting yesterday, President Hu and I agreed that the Chinese side will intensify their efforts to investigate this issue, and that both sides will cooperate even more closely, in order to shed light as soon as possible on how the toxic substances came to be mixed in with the dumplings.

We have made significant progress on the issue of development of resources in the East China Sea. The prospect is now in sight of a resolution to this issue, which has been pending for many years. We will work out the details and reach an agreement at an early stage.

During our meeting, we also talked about the issue of Tibet, which has attracted a great deal of attention in the international community. President Hu explained that China had held talks with the Dalai Lama's envoy on May 4, and that the dialogue will continue in the future.

While this is highly regarded as a first step toward full-fledged dialogue, I requested that President Hu improve the situation in Tibet and assuage the concerns of the international community through continued dialogue, going forward.

We also discussed global warming issues. The commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol commenced last month: President Hu and I agreed that Japan and China will cooperate toward the building of an effective post-2012 framework for emissions reduction. We were able to release a joint statement on the climate change issue.

In addition to pending issues between Japan and China, we also discussed issues of global importance, and it was an extremely productive and significant summit meeting for our two countries.

Japan and China are much more than just neighboring countries. We bear a huge responsibility not only in terms of our bilateral relationship but also in the international community. It is our responsibility to work together to create a bright future for Asia, and moreover, a bright future for the world.

Together, President Hu and I have agreed to cooperate toward resolving the various issues that we face, while walking the same path and not shying away from saying to each other the things that need to be said.

* Profile of the Prime Minister

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matushige Oono
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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