Japan-China Relations

November 17, 2022
Prime Minister Kishida shakes hand with Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping. Japan-China Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Photo of the summit meeting Japan-China Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On November 17, commencing past 18:40 local time (the same day, 20:40 Japan time) for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who was on a visit to Thailand to attend an APEC-related Summit Meeting, held his first Summit Meeting, in a face-to-face format with Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. The summary of the meeting is as follows.

  1. Prime Minister Kishida referred to the telephone summit talk in October last year when the two leaders agreed on a broad direction of establishing a “constructive and stable Japan-China relationship.” Prime Minister Kishida also said that as Japan and China marked the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations, the bilateral exchanges are steadily recovering, despite the spread of a new type of COVID-19. Prime Minister. Kishida went on to state that, while Japan-China relations face many challenges and issues as well as various possibilities for cooperation, both countries have huge responsibilities for the peace and prosperity of the region as well as the international community, it is for these challenges and issues the two countries face that both sides should accelerate their efforts to build a “constructive and stable Japan-China relationship,” where both sides engage in candid dialogue, act together as responsible nations on international challenges and cooperate on common issues. President Xi stated that Japan-China relations have a wide range of common interests as well as possibilities for cooperation and that the importance of Japan-China relations will not change. President Xi went on to express his desire to work with Prime Minister Kishida to build a Japan-China relationship that commensurate with the demands of the new era.
  2. Prime Minister Kishida expressed grave concern about the situation in the East China Sea, including the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands, as well as military activities by China around Japan, such as China's launch of ballistic missiles into the waters near Japan including its EEZ in August of this year. At the same time, the two leaders agreed on the early launch of a hotline under the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the Japan-China defense authorities, as well as the strengthening of communication through the Japan-China Security Dialogue and other channels. Prime Minister Kishida reiterated the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, once again called on China to respond to Japan’s position on human rights and the detention of Japanese nationals, and strongly called for the prompt lifting of import restrictions on Japanese food products.
  3. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his expectation that China will make positive contributions to the international community under established international rules. The two leaders shared the view that mutually beneficial cooperation is possible in specific areas of economy and exchanges of people, and agreed that they will encourage cooperation in areas such as green economy including environment and energy conservation, as well as medical care, nursing care and healthcare. At the same time, Prime Minister Kishida stated that it is important that China guarantees legitimate business activities of Japanese companies by ensuring a transparent, predictable, and fair business environment. The two leaders also agreed to revitalize the bilateral exchanges of people, including the youth who will lead the future of the two countries. The two leaders agreed to hold the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue and the Japan-China High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchange Dialogue at an early date.
  4. Prime Minister Kishida stressed the need for both countries to act as responsible nations under the global rules on international issues, such as climate change and development finance. Regarding the situation in Ukraine, Prime Minister Kishida called on China to play a responsible role in maintaining international peace and security. Furthermore, the two leaders shared the concern that Russia's indication of the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine is extremely alarming, and agreed on the view that nuclear weapons must never be used and that nuclear war must never be fought. Regarding North Korea, Prime Minister Kishida expressed his expectation that China will fulfill its role, including in the UN Security Council, while referring to his serious concern about North Korea’s increased nuclear and missile activities. He also requested for understanding and support toward the immediate resolution of the abductions issue and the two leaders confirmed that they would continue to work closely together on this issue.
  5. The two leaders agreed to maintain close communications at all levels including the leaders’.

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