Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture Heita Kawakatsu in Shizuoka, Japan, Nov. 24, 2019. (Xinhua/Guo Dan)
China and Japan should usher in a new era of local-level exchanges in the 21st century, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday.
Wang, who attended the Group of 20 (G20) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nagoya, made the remarks during a meeting with Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture Heita Kawakatsu.
Wang said that although the relations between the two countries have experienced ups and downs, friendly people-to-people and local-level exchanges have always been the cornerstone of communication between China and Japan. More than 250 pairs of sister cities have been established between the two countries, he noted.
The two sides should keep pace with the times, jointly open up a new era of local-level exchanges in the 21st century and push for continuous improvement and development of bilateral relations, Wang said.
Shizuoka has always had a unique and important position in the friendly exchanges between China and Japan, and it is hoped that Shizuoka will continue to play a leading role in promoting the friendly cooperation between the two countries, he said.
Kawakatsu introduced the historical origin and current development of Shizuoka's friendly exchanges with China, saying that whether the development of Japan-China relations is smooth or experiences ups and downs, the friendly feelings of the Japanese people towards China have never changed.
Shizuoka has forged friendly relations with many provinces and cities in China, especially with Zhejiang Province for 37 years, he said, adding that the people of Shizuoka are proud of their special relationship with China and their contributions to Japan-China friendship, he said.
Kawakatsu said he highly appreciates the Belt and Road Initiative and sees it as an important opportunity for Shizuoka to expand friendly cooperation with China, adding that the prefecture is ready to fully support and actively participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road projects.
Shizuoka's door is always open to Chinese friends and the prefecture welcomes more Chinese tourists, he added.