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Remarks at the China International Friendship Conference in Commemoration of 60th Anniversary of CPAFFC by Yukio Hatoyama

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May 15, 2014
Yukio Hatoyama
Former Prime Minister of Japan

Today, witnessed by The Honourable President Xi Jinping and many other disguished friends from all over the world, the Chinese People''''s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries is celebrating its 60th birthday. I’d like to express my sincere congratulations on the occasion.

Meanwhile, as a member of the Japanese delegation invited to the event, I take it as a great honor to have the opportunity to speak in front of the most influential and eminent people in this house.

The 20th century was an era troubled by wars and conflicts, when world wars came up in swift intervals. In the turbulent whirlpool of history, Japan caused immense pain to the Chinese people. Japan has expressed deep remorse for this and determined to become a nation that will never involve itself again into any warfare. This is a determination to which we should commit forever.

Unfortunately, the world is still far from carefree of disputes and conflicts. We find disputes continue in numerous parts of the world, and the use of brutal force will get us nowhere near the fundamental settlement of these hostile disagreements.

We must start from the treatment of hearts and minds to fundamentally solve the disputes. I firmly believe that “Friendship”, advocated by Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi of Austria and my grandfather Ichiro Hatoyama, is the only proper idea to cure the current political chaos.

The friendship means to respect one’s own dignity and freedom and that of the others. This idea should apply to not only interpersonal relationships, but also state-to-state relations, and even the communication between man and nature.

We should not be opinionated, yet instead, we need to listen to each other, try to understand and trust each other, and always be ready to help.

Today, I think I stand and speak on behalf of Asia, and then to act as a representative of Asia, I believe that the realization of the idea of fraternity means to establish an integrated east Asian community. Now that Europe has built the European Union, and however, I reckon there is little reason to prevent us from making a united Asia.

If the Asian countries strengthen cooperation in areas of education, culture, environment, health care, and social security besides their close economic partnerships maintained in trade and finance, and enhance a sense of community, then Asia will undoubtedly make far more significant contribution to world peace and development.

Thus, in this regard, President Li Xiaolin together with members of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and by now the friendly cooperative relationships established with friends all over the world in various fields, have all greatly contributed to world peace and development.

We sincerely welcome that China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, is now playing an important role in regional and global affairs as a responsible great country. Recently, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures (CICA) of Asia will be held, and will discuss the new Asian security concept, which coincides with my idea of the establishment of an integrated east Asian community. I highly appreciate it.

Today’s Asia moves on the path of development and prosperity in twists and turns, thanks to the tremendous post-war hard works by our great predecessors. In order to maintain sustainable and stable order in East Asia region, we must follow the footsteps of our ancestors and make more efforts.

Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, with efforts of our friends of the Chinese People''''s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, I believe that in the near future, we will meet on the day with both flourishing plum and cherry blossoms.

60 years equals a complete cycle of Chinese traditional calendar. Here, I would like to wish Chinese People''''s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, an organization steadily growing to maturity, in view of new goals and determination, a greater development.

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