Visiting Chinese Vice President Hu Jintao and Koichi Kato, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, agreed Wednesday that the two countries should cooperate to overcome the economic and financial crises in Southeast Asia, LDP officials said.

“The two countries must deal with the financial crisis as leaders, not only in the field of politics but also in the economic sphere,” Kato told Hu during a meeting at a Tokyo hotel.

While welcoming China’s initiatives in providing a market for other Asian countries, Kato said Japan is also making efforts to stabilize the rocking Asian monetary market. Kato said Hu told him that Beijing will continue efforts to restore economic stabilization in Asia, which has been struck by an economic crisis popularly known as the “Asian flu.”

When Kato told Hu that Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto is having difficulties in implementing reforms, Hu said China has been conducting reforms for the last 20 years, noting they should be pursued despite difficulties and opposition.

Kato also said he is encouraged by China’s continued efforts to provide a market to Southeast Asian nations by not devaluating its currency, the officials said.

After the meeting, Hu attended a breakfast session with senior officials of the LDP and its two non-Cabinet allies — the Social Democratic Party and the New Party Sakigake.

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