BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang on Monday met with a delegation of Japanese lawmakers despite strained bilateral ties.
"The visit by the Japanese lawmakers reflects your determination to move the strained bilateral ties forward," said Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the start of the meeting.
Masahiko Komura, vice president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said he would like to make efforts to bring ties back to a strategically mutually beneficial relationship.
China and Japan have seen few high-level political contacts since the Japanese government's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012, a move that contributed to the disintegration of bilateral relations.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit late last year to the Yasukuni shrine, which honors WWII war criminals, erected another political obstacle to the strained relations. The visit is the first by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006.
"We urge Japan to take a correct view of history, reality and the future and develop bilateral ties in accordance with the four political papers between the two countries, including the China-Japan Joint Communique," Zhang told Komura.
Zhang's meeting with Komura, who is leading the 9-member delegation for the three-day Beijing visit, is the highest contact between leaders of the two countries in recent months.
A couple of other delegations have visited China since April. Governor of Tokyo Prefecture Yoichi Masuzoe visited Beijing from April 24 to 26 and met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang.
Earlier in April, a delegation from the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade visited China and also met with Wang. Wang called on Japan's business community to make efforts to overcome the obstacles in bilateral ties.
"The NPC and the Japanese Diet have unique advantages in enhancing friendship between the two peoples," Zhang said, calling on Komura and other lawmakers in the delegation to commit to China-Japan friendship, carry forward good traditions and work for the healthy development of bilateral relations.
Komura reaffirmed his commitment to bringing strained ties back on track.