|Wang Yi: Usher in a New Era of Local-level Exchanges in the 21st Century|
On November 24, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Heita Kawakatsu, Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture of Japan in Shizuoka.
Wang Yi expressed, China and Japan are neighbors separated only by a narrow strip of water with a long history of exchanges. 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, which play a positive role in promoting official exchanges between the two countries through non-government and local exchanges whenever there are problems in bilateral relations, and become the mainstay and a vital force to boost the development of bilateral relations whenever they move on the right track. More than 250 pairs of sister cities have been established between the two countries. The two sides should keep pace with the times, jointly usher in a new era of local-level exchanges in the 21st century and push for continuous improvement and development of bilateral relations. 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.
Heita Kawakatsu briefed on 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 Prefecture has forged friendly relations with many provinces and cities in China, especially with Zhejiang Province for 37 years. The people of Shizuoka are proud of their special relationship with China and their contributions to boosting Japan-China friendship. Shizuoka highly appreciates the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping and sees it as an important opportunity for Shizuoka to expand friendly cooperation with China. Shizuoka is ready to fully support and actively participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. Shizuoka's door is always open to Chinese friends and the prefecture welcomes more Chinese tourists.