The Chinese government says it places great importance on an upcoming visit by Japanese Prime Minister, Yasuo Fukuda. The visit is seen as a chance to promote healthy and steady development in Sino-Japanese relations.
Qin Gang said, "Fukuda's visit is another important measure to further improve and develop the China-Japan relations, following the ice-breaking and thawing trips by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao."
On the East China Sea issue, Qin admits the two sides have encountered some difficulties in their consultations, but he stresses China has always adopted an active and pragmatic stance.
Qin Gang said, "China is ready to continue equal consultations with Japan, based on the principle of putting aside disputes and seeking joint exploration and the five-point consensus reached by Chinese and Japanese leaders, and strive to find a solution that's acceptable to both sides."
Qin says Fukuda will arrive in Beijing Thursday for a four-day official visit.
He will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, and meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo Friday.