Chinese, Japanese leaders play ball

Dec. 29, 2007 at 1:37 PM

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- China's premier and Japan's prime minister played baseball Saturday, providing another sign of their countries' increasingly friendly relations.

The impromptu game between Wen Jiabao and Yasuo Fukuda occurred during the third day of Fukuda's four-day trip through China, Xinhua reported.

Speaking with reporters Saturday, Jiabao stressed China's commitment to ties with Japan, saying the future of China-Japan relations will be deepened by exchanges between the two countries' young people, China's official news agency said.

About 4,000 youths in all are to participate in bilateral exchanges this coming year between Japan and China, with Wen planning to visit Japan in 2008.

Fukuda said 2008 would mark the 30th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese friendship and peace treaty signed by his father, the late Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, and the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1978.

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