Chinese missile destroyer pays first visit to Japan

A Chinese warship docked in Japan Wednesday for the first time since the communist country was established in 1949, as part of bilateral military exchanges.

Chinese missile destroyer pays first visit to Japan
The "Shenzhen" missile destroyer, carrying 345 Chinese naval officials and soldiers, arrived at Harumi Pier near downtown Tokyo, escorted by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyer Ikazuchi.

"We have seen major progress in our military relations, and your visit symbolizes this progress," Admiral Eiji Yoshikawa, chief of staff of the MSDF, told the welcoming ceremony. "I believe this visit will help strengthen mutual trust and friendship between Japan and China." Rear Admiral Xiao Xinnian, the captain of the Chinese vessel, told reporters, "China's military wants to resolve all issues with Japan in a peaceful atmosphere. The Shenzhen carries not only its crew, but also the friendship of the 1.3 billion people of China." During its four-day stay till December 1, the Shenzhen will be opened to the Japanese public. A Japanese naval ship will visit China later in the day.
Japan last received a port call from a Chinese naval ship in 1934.

Ties between Japan and China improved last year after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office. The landmark visit, following the Japanese tour by Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan in August, opens a new page in the history of defense exchanges between the tow countries.

Cao and his then Japanese counterpart Masahiko Komura agreed in the visit, the first by a Chinese military chief in nearly a decade, that the two sides should invite each other's maritime forces to make exchange visits.


KUNA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Kasım 2007, 15:19
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