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Wang Yi Attends and Addresses the Reception for China-Japan People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges

On November 25, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended and addressed the reception for China-Japan people-to-people and cultural exchanges hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Japan. More than 200 people were present at the reception, including Yasuo Fukuda, former Japanese Prime Minister; Toshimitsu Motegi, Japanese Foreign Minister; Koichi Hagiuda, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Kazuyoshi Akaba, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo; H.E. Kong Xuanyou, Chinese Ambassador to Japan; as well as principals of relevant departments and dignitaries from all walks of life in the field of people-to-people and cultural engagement of the two countries.

Wang Yi expressed, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and I co-launched the China-Japan high-level consultation mechanism on people-to-people and cultural exchanges this morning, and reached an important consensus to make great progress in people-to-people and cultural exchanges between our two countries and inject new impetus into bilateral relations that fit the needs of the new era.

Wang Yi pointed out, China and Japan are neighbors with a long history of exchanges of more than 2,000 years. Both sides share geographical proximity, and close cultural connections and people-to-people bonds, which are a unique advantage for our exchanges and a valuable asset for advancing exchanges in the new era. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Japan are gaining new vitality.

The two peoples have more frequent exchanges with each other. The number of visits between Chinese and Japanese people is expected to reach 12 million this year, equivalent to more than 30,000 daily between the two countries. Back in 1972 when bilateral relations were normalized, the number was less than 10,000 for a year. The Chinese people see Japan as a popular destination for overseas travel. Japanese tourists can also come to China to easily experience mobile payment and smart travel. More Japanese friends are welcome to visit different parts of China's vast land and feel the rapid changes that are happening there.

The mutual understanding between the two peoples has been deepening. With more and more communication with each other, the distance between the two peoples in their hearts is getting closer. This May, a Japanese youth wrote to President Xi Jinping about his own experience from never knowing China to falling in love with the country, expressing strong desire and belief in helping promote China-Japan friendship. President Xi Jinping sent a reply to him, hoping that the youth of the two countries will make positive contributions to the bright future of bilateral relations.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries have become more colorful. Many films and TV programs were introduced to China. Our generation remembered that the TV drama Red Suspicion went viral in China. The Chinese science fiction The Three-Body Problem had been printed tenth just within a week after it went on sale in Japan, becoming a massive hit. As Tokyo and Beijing will host the Olympic Games next year and the Winter Olympics in 2022 respectively, our two countries need to strengthen mutual support, exchanges and cooperation to ensure the success of the events.

Wang Yi stressed, to promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Japan, the two peoples are the real protagonists, and the local areas are broad stages while the youth are the hope for the future. The two sides should work together to usher in a new era of exchanges between peoples, localities and youth.

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