BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday congratulated Japan's new Emperor Naruhito on his succession to the throne.

In a congratulatory message, Xi said China and Japan are close neighbors with a long history of friendship. The two countries should make joint efforts to promote peace and development and work towards a bright future for bilateral ties, he added.

Also on Wednesday, Xi conveyed greetings and good wishes to Akihito, father of the new emperor, in a separate message following his abdication.