'Your visit to China at the beginning of the year shows the Japanese government's strong willingness to improve bilateral ties,' Wang told Kono, who is on his first China visit as Japanese foreign minister.
Kono's visit came as the two countries celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which is of special and great significance to bilateral ties.
Describing Sino-Japanese relations as being at a crucial stage, Wang said China had noticed the recent positive comments by the Japanese side and hoped Japan would put its words into actions.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed Japan's willingness to promote the relationship with China, in a policy speech Monday. Wang urged the Japanese side 'not to slack or fall back, and work together with China to meet each other halfway.'
'To improve and develop China-Japan relations is in the interests of both sides, and the common aspiration of various circles in the two societies,' Wang said.
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi also met with Kono today.
'The two sides should take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship to eliminate barriers and promote improvement of ties,' Yang said.
He called on both sides to respect each other's core interests and major concerns, abide by the principles of the four China-Japan political documents, and properly handle sensitive issues, including regarding history.
Yang also asked the two countries to 'control differences and expand win-win cooperation, to push forward ties on a sound track of improvement and development.'
Kono said his government was ready to cement political trust and concrete cooperation with China, enhance high-level exchanges and contacts among various levels, to promote full improvement of ties.
Kono is on an official visit to China from Jan. 27 to 28.
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