SEZ impresses former Japan prime minister
2010-August-26 Source: Szdaily web edition
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Toshiki Kaifu

Toshiki Kaifu, former Japanese prime minister, said he was deeply impressed with the tremendous changes that had taken place in Shenzhen in the past three decades during an interview with Shenzhen TV on Aug 11.

"I believe Shenzhen has developed into a modern economic structure over the past 30 years," he said.

Kaifu, now in his 70s, has established a firm bond with Shenzhen in his five visits since 1985.

"In the 1980s, Shenzhen was a big construction site and there was a lot of unexploited land," Kaifu said.

He witnessed the development of Huari Toyota Automobile Service Co. Ltd., the first Sino-Japan joint venture established in 1983. Kaifu visited the company in Luohu five times.

Then a taxi service firm, the company had only a few small sheds in a village not far from the Shenzhen River. There were no offices, warehouses or even parking space, Kaifu said.

The company later grew quickly, he said.

In 1994, Kaifu was awarded the title of honorary Citizen of Shenzhen by Li Youwei, the then Shenzhen mayor. He had left his footprint in many places around the city, including Shenzhen University where he planted a banyan tree as a symbol of friendship and became an honorary professor. He also attended the First China Hi-Tech Fair in 1999.

"Shenzhen definitely offers valuable experience for the rest of the country through its development. I hope it achieves greater accomplishments after the 30th anniversary," he said.

(By Han Ximin, Wang Peipei)

Editor: Miranda
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