Outline of New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century

July 2005
China and Mongolia Division, Asian and Oceanian Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

1. Objective

To stably develop and strengthen friendly and cooperative Japan-China relations for the 21st Century, intellectuals of both sides will study the relations from a broad perspective including politics, economy, culture, science and technology, and will make a proposal and report to the Governments of both countries.
(Secretariat: China and Mongolia Division, Asian and Oceanian Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Executive Secretary: Mr. Kenichi Sasae, Director- General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

2. Prior Activities

(1) Then Prime Minister of Japan Yasuhiro Nakasone and then Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang, during Mr. Hu's visit to Japan in November 1983, reached a consensus of opinion to establish the Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century. As a result, the Committee was founded in March 1984 taking the opportunity of Mr. Nakasone's visit to China.

(2) Since the First Meeting of the Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century in September 1984, the Committee has held so far 15 full meetings. The Committee has made a valuable contribution in developing and strengthening Japan-China relations, and has achieved, for example, the following results. The Committee sets the tenure of its members basically at 5 years and has so far conducted two major reshuffles.
(a) The First Meeting (1984) proposed constructing a Japan-China Youth Exchange Center in Beijing as a base for such exchange. Prime Minister Nakasone adopted the proposal and later on, in May 1991, the Center was launched under the leadership of Prime Minister Takeshita.
(b) The Eighth Meeting (1992), in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations, issued a joint communiqué laying out the future course of Japan-China friendly relations, and adopted a proposal on environmental issues, the most important area for future bilateral cooperation.
(c) The 12th Meeting (1998) proposed setting up a partnership between Japan and China. The proposal produced results in November 1998 in the Friendly and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Development between the Governments of both countries during Chinese General Secretary Jiang Zemin's visit to Japan.

3. Establishment of New 21st Century Committee for Japan-China Friendship

(1) At the Japan-China Summit Meeting held in St. Petersburg in May 2003 between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and President Hu Jintao, it was agreed to establish a New 21st Century Committee for Japan-China Friendship. The Holding of its first meeting was agreed at the APEC Summit Meeting.

(2) The first meeting was held in China on December 5 and 6, 2003, with new committee members. There was an active exchange of views between members of both sides. The participants were able to gain shared awareness of the importance of grasping the Japan-China relationship from long-term and broader viewpoint. They agreed to draw up a list "Chances and Challenges" that Japan and China may both face in the future, under the recognition that the relations between Japan and China are generally heading in an extremely good direction, including a very much closer relationship in terms of economy and human exchanges; they also decided to continue exchanging opinions through, for example, small group meetings.

(3) The second meeting was held in Tokyo on September 19 and 20 last year to discuss energy and environment issues and also mutual understanding between the two peoples. After the meeting, the committee members of both sides announced a "common awareness", including the expansion of common interests and the importance of mutual trust.

(4) The third meeting will be held from July 30 to 31 this year in Kuming, Yunnan Province, China.

Back to Index