China and Japan agreed on Friday to step up public health cooperation to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
The pledge was made during a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.
During the meeting, Yang said China and Japan assisted each other in the fight against COVID-19 and worked together to overcome the difficulties, thus deepening the friendship between the two countries.
China sincerely thanks Japan for its precious support, and is willing to continue providing support and help for Japan's fight against the epidemic, strengthen bilateral and multilateral medical and health cooperation, so as to jointly safeguard the health and wellbeing of the peoples of the two countries and the world, he said.
Yang said the China-Japan relations have maintained a sound momentum of development. He noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Abe held two successful meetings last year, leading efforts in building China-Japan relations in line with the requirements of the new era.
China is ready to work with Japan to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, and work together to build a new pattern of bilateral relations featuring joint cooperation, win-win and mutual benefit, said Yang.
Xi's upcoming state visit to Japan is of great significance and China is ready to maintain close communication with Japan and make preparations for the visit, he said.
China firmly supports Japan in successfully hosting the Tokyo Olympic Games, he added.
For his part, Abe said Xi's upcoming state visit to Japan this year is of great importance and Japan will make careful preparations to ensure the success and fruitful results of the visit.
The peoples of Japan and China have shown friendly feelings in their joint fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, Abe said.
He said Japan speaks highly of China's positive achievements in the fight against the virus and is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in information sharing and epidemic prevention and control, and send a positive signal to the international community of jointly tackling the challenges to global public health security.
Also on Friday Yang attended the eighth China-Japan high-level political dialogue with head of Japan's national security council Shigeru Kitamura and met with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.