Beijing : China and Japan are seeking mutual tourism investment opportunities as both countries have experienced increased tourist flows in recent years.
China welcomes and supports Japanese companies looking to invest in China's booming tourism industry, said Li Jinzao, head of China National Tourism Administration, while meeting with visiting Chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party's General Council Toshihiro Nikai here.
Likewise, China hopes Japan could introduce attractive policies for Chinese companies to invest in the sector, such as hotels and travel agencies, Li added.
Led by Nikai, a 3,000-member Japanese delegation, including heads of local governments and big enterprises, arrived in Beijing on May 22 to attend a series of cultural, tourism and trade events.
This is the largest mission between the two countries since the Japanese government's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012 chilled bilateral ties.
Li said the event offered a chance for the two countries to further boost tourism cooperation.
Tourism between the two countries also cooled following the island "purchase" in 2012 and visits by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni Shrine, a spiritual symbol of Japan's aggression that honors war criminals.
In 2013, Chinese tourists to Japan dropped 6.5 percent year on year to 1.83 million. But as relations gradually improved, the trend is on the rise. Last year, more than 2.4 million Chinese tourists visited Japan.
Earlier,Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a gathering of more than 3,000 Japanese visitors in Beijing on May 23 to support people-to-people exchanges between the two nations.
"The China-Japan friendship is rooted in the people, and the future of the bilateral relationship is in the hand of the people of the two countries," Xi said as he delivered a speech at the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
Recalling the long history of interaction between the two neighbors, Xi said that peace and friendship have been the main theme in the mind of the Chinese and Japanese people.
"We stand ready to work with the Japanese side to advance the neighborly friendship and cooperation between the two countries on the basis of the four political documents," said the president.The four political documents refer to the China-Japan Joint Statement inked in 1972, the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978, the China-Japan Joint Declaration of 1998 and a joint statement on advancing strategic and mutually beneficial relations that was signed in 2008.
Echoing Xi, Toshihiro Nikai, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party's General Council, pledged on behalf of the delegation to work harder to improve the relationship between Japan and China.
The Japanese delegation included heads of local governments and big enterprises -- a group willing to intensify ties with China.- Xinhua
May 24, 2015