Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that exchanges between Japanese and Chinese leaders are "extremely important," adding that he hopes the current momentum of Japan-China relations can be maintained.
Abe made the remarks in response to a question by Daisaku Hiraki, a member of the House of Councilors of Japan's National Diet (Japan's legislature), Kyodo News reported.
The Japanese prime minister said he also hopes the two countries can expand their exchanges at all levels, including at the economic and youth level.
Recently, Abe made several positive remarks on Japan's relations with China. On October 4, he vowed to open up a new era in bilateral ties during a speech at a session of the Diet.
During an interview with China Media Group earlier this month, Abe hailed the "tremendous changes" that have taken place in China over the past few decades.
On September 26, Abe sent a video message to the Chinese embassy to Japan, congratulating the People's Republic of China (PRC) on the 70th anniversary of its founding. He called on the two countries to join hands in addressing regional and global issues and making contributions to the international community.
With bilateral ties improving in recent years, high-level exchanges between China and Japan have increased. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to Japan in May 2018, followed by Abe's official visit to China five months later
More recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Abe on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan's Osaka in late June. The two leaders reached a 10-point consensus on promoting bilateral relations and Xi agreed in principle to pay a state visit to Japan next spring.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan will attend the enthronement ceremony of Japanese Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo, next Tuesday, as Xi's special envoy and pay a friendly visit to Japan.