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Chinese, Japanese PMs Hail Successful Youth Exchange Year

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso on Wednesday congratulated the success of the China-Japan Youth Friendly Exchange Year.

"The exchanges between the youths of China and Japan have played an important role in enhancing the understanding between the two peoples and improving the Sino-Japanese relations for half a century," Wen said in a message read out by Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai.

The success of the exchange year would add a new chapter to the history of China-Japan friendly relations, and have positive and far-reaching influence on the development of their strategic mutually beneficial relations, Wen said in a message delivered at the closing ceremony of the exchange year.

"The foundation of generations of friendly relations between China and Japan lies among their peoples and the future of such ties rests with the youths of both nations," Wen noted.

"I hope the young people of both countries will continue to join hands to carry out studies and exchange activities."

"I believe that with the active participation and generous support of people from all walks of life, the Sino-Japanese youths' friendly exchange activities will certainly score new achievements and make greater contribution to the promotion of the noble cause of the Sino-Japanese peace, friendship and cooperation," the premier said.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, who attended the closing ceremony, said a series of colorful activities were held successfully during the youth exchange year as part of the activities to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty.

During his talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao in his recent visit to China, the two sides spoke highly of the large-scale exchange activities held this year between the youths of the two countries and agreed to work together to continue relevant exchanges, he said.

Aso pointed out that the youth exchanges have been extended to wider areas, expanding from exchanges between high-school students to those between college students as well as youths who are active in such areas as environment, energy, medical care and economy.

He urged both countries to continue to make unremitting efforts to promote cooperation in youth exchanges.

"I'm convinced that by carrying out heart-to-heart communications between the youths of both countries, the trust between the two peoples will also be greatly enhanced," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2008)