Japan-China Relations

Japan-China Summit Meeting and Dinner

June 27, 2019
Japanese

  • Japan-China Summit Meeting and Dinner1
  • Japan-China Summit Meeting and Dinner2
  • Japan-China Summit Meeting and Dinner3
On June 27, commencing at 7:36 p.m., Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Japan-China Summit Meeting (for approximately 60 minutes, simultaneous interpretation) and dinner (for approximately 70 minutes, consecutive interpretation) with H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, during his visit to Japan to attend the G20 Osaka Summit. The overview of the meeting and dinner is as follows.

Chinese side: General Office Director of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Ding Xuexiang, Vice Premier Liu He, Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee Yang Jiechi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng, Minister of Finance Liu Kun, Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China Yi Gang, Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou, and others.

Japanese side: Prime Minister Abe, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono (dinner only), Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura (meeting only), Secretary General of the National Security Secretariat Shotaro Yachi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Hiroto Izumi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Public Relations Secretary Eiichi Hasegawa, Ambassador to China Yutaka Yokoi, and others.

1 Japan-China relations

The two leaders confirmed that Japan-China relations have gotten back on a normal track through reciprocal visits by the leaders in 2018, and that there have been new developments in the relations. They also shared their determination to carve out “a new era of Japan-China relations”. In addition, the two leaders shared the view on ensuring that this opportunity is seized to develop Japan-China relations which are stable in the long-term while expanding their common interests, building upon the existing foundation of their bilateral relationship, including the “four documents.” 

(1) High-level reciprocal visits

The two leaders shared the view on strengthening reciprocal visits and dialogues at a high level, including at the summit level, in order to have constant and close communications as eternal neighboring countries. As an important next step to this end, Prime Minister Abe, on behalf of the Government of Japan, invited President Xi to pay a state visit to Japan next spring, and President Xi accepted the invitation in principle. 

(2) Maritime security

The two leaders confirmed that they would aim to build constructive relations in the maritime security area, based on the recognition that they should be “partners who cooperate together and not become threats to each other” and “there will be no genuine improvement in Japan-China relations without stability in the East China Sea.” In particular, the two leaders shared the view on promoting and implementing the “2008 Agreement” regarding resource development in order to achieve the goal of making the East China Sea a “Sea of Peace, Cooperation and Friendship,” and on further strengthening dialogues in the areas of diplomacy and security. 
  1. The two leaders welcomed concrete achievements made through their reciprocal visits last year, including the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between defense authorities and the Japan-China Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Agreement.
  2. The two leaders welcomed the progress in bilateral defense exchanges, including participation of the Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) and an MSDF vessel for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy in April 2019, and exchanges between their maritime law enforcement agencies at multilateral fora. The leaders expressed the expectations towards the early realization of reciprocal visits by their defense ministers and the early establishment of a hotline based on the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism. 
  3. Prime Minister Abe requested self-restraint in China’s activities in the East China Sea, particularly the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, based on a broad perspective of Japan-China relations and peace and stability in the region and international community. In addition, with regard to the South China Sea issue, which is a matter of concern for the international community, Prime Minister Abe noted on the importance of demilitarization of disputed features. 

(3) Economic and practical cooperation

The two leaders shared the view that, based on international standards and in the spirit of “from competition to cooperation,” the two countries would enhance mutually beneficial working-level cooperation in areas that have potential, such as third country markets, innovations and protection of intellectual property, trade and investment including foods and agricultural products, finance and securities, medical and nursing care, energy conservation and environment, and tourism exchanges, as well as further develop a free and fair trading system. In addition, the two leaders confirmed that the two countries would provide a fair, nondiscriminatory, and predictable business environment to each other’s companies. 
  1. The two leaders welcomed that the achievements of last year’s reciprocal visits by the leaders have steadily translated into implementation, including progress in Japan-China financial cooperation such as mutual listing of exchange-traded funds (ETF) (June 2019) and designation of a Japanese bank as a Renminbi (RMB) clearing bank (June 2019), holding of the Japan-China Innovation Cooperation Dialogue (April 2019) and Japan-China International Development Cooperation Policy Consultation (May 2019), and progress on private-sector economic cooperation in third countries. 
  2. From the perspective of further deepening Japan-China economic relations and the sustainable growth of the Chinese economy, Prime Minister Abe requested the opening up of the Chinese market and effective measures to establish a fair and equitable business environment, including enhancement of intellectual property protection as well as correction of forced technology transfer and market-distorting industrial subsidies. 
  3. Prime Minister Abe once again requested China to expeditiously lift its import restrictions on Japanese food products based on scientific assessment. The two leaders also confirmed that the agreement on animal health and quarantine was ready for signature. Prime Minister Abe expressed expectations that the agreement would be signed at an early date and would lead to the resumption of Japanese beef exports to China. 
  4. The two leaders confirmed that both countries would implement effective initiatives to address the issue of marine plastic litter. 

(4) People-to-people exchanges and consular affairs

The two leaders confirmed that mutual understanding would be deepened between the people of Japan and China through people-to-people exchanges, especially two-way exchanges between the young generation who will play a key role in the future of the two countries. Furthermore, the two leaders shared the view that both Japan and China would actively attract school trips to their countries through this year’s Japan-China Youth Exchange Promotion Year. The leaders also shared the view on establishing a high-level dialogue framework for people-to-people and cultural exchanges by the end of the year. 
  1. The two leaders confirmed that they would expand their aviation relationship to achieve their goal of 15 million travelers between Japan and China. The two leaders also confirmed that people-to-people exchanges would be promoted through the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games next year and the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022. 
  2. The two leaders confirmed that they would aim for the early conclusion of the Treaty between Japan and China on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and the Treaty between Japan and China on Extradition as legal frameworks which will serve as the foundation for people-to-people exchanges. 
  3. The two leaders confirmed that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the acceptance of specified skilled workers was ready for signature.
  4. Prime Minister Abe once again requested the early return of Japanese nationals detained in China.

(5) Contribution to region and international community

The two leaders shared the view that both Japan and China, as major powers responsible for peace and stability in Asia and the world, would work shoulder to shoulder to make active contributions to wide-range of issues facing the region and the international community, including economy and trade, development assistance, environment, climate change, health and sanitation, and disarmament and arms control. 
  1. The two leaders confirmed the importance of the G20 countries taking united actions to address the issues facing the international community.
  2. The two leaders confirmed that they would contribute to the evolvement of a free and fair trading system through negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Japan-China-ROK free trade agreement (FTA). Prime Minister Abe also called for progress on World Trade Organization (WTO) reform. 

(6) Other

  1. Regarding recent affairs in Hong Kong, Prime Minister Abe noted on the importance of the continued prosperity of a free and open Hong Kong under “one country, two systems.” 
  2. Prime Minister Abe noted on the importance of guaranteeing the universal values of the international community in any country, such as freedom, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

2 North Korean affairs

(1) President Xi explained the outcomes of his recent visit to North Korea, which was followed by candid exchanges of views between the two leaders. They confirmed that Japan and China will coordinate towards their common goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

(2) The two leaders confirmed the importance of the full implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, including addressing ship-to-ship transfers. 

(3) President Xi stated that, during the recent China-North Korea Summit , he conveyed to Chairman Kim Jong-Un Japan’s position on Japan-North Korea relations and Prime Minister Abe’s views and also gained the support of  President Xi for improvement of Japan-North Korea relations, including the abductions issue.

3 U.S.-China relations

President Xi explained the present situation of U.S.-China relations. Prime Minister Abe pointed out the importance of resolving the outstanding issues through dialogue, including the U.S.-China Summit Meeting to be held on June 29.

[Reference 1: Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between Defense Authorities of Japan and China]
This mechanism has been developed between Japanese and Chinese defense authorities (1) to promote mutual understanding and confidence between Japan and China and to enhance bilateral defense cooperation, (2) to avoid unexpected collision, and (3) to prevent unforeseen circumstances in the sea and air from developing into military clashes or political or diplomatic issues. The memorandum was signed between the defense authorities of Japan and China in the presence of Prime Minister Abe and Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang on the margins of the Japan-China Summit Meeting held in Tokyo in May 2018. The mechanism commenced operations in June 2018. The mechanism’s main components include (1) annual and expert meetings between the two countries’ defense authorities, (2) a hotline between Japanese and Chinese defense authorities, and (3) on scene communication measures between vessels and aircraft of the Self-Defense Forces and the People’s Liberation Army. 

[Reference 2: Japan-China Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Agreement]
Signed on October 26, 2018 and entered into force on February 14, 2019. This Agreement establishes a legal framework for Japan-China cooperation on maritime SAR, enabling smoother and more efficient SAR activities by relevant authorities (Japan Coast Guard and China Maritime Search and Rescue Center). 

[Reference 3: Defense Exchanges and Exchanges between Maritime Law Enforcement Agencies]
November 2018 Delegation of Eastern Theater Command of Chinese PLA visits Japan
December 2018 10th Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs (Wuzhen, Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China)
December 2018 1st Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism Annual and Experts Meeting (Beijing, China) 
January 2019 16th Japan-China Security Dialogue (Beijing)
April 2019 Japan-China field officer-level exchange: Japanese delegation visits China
April 2019 Japan-China Working-Level Meeting on the margin of the 20th North Pacific Coast Guard Forum  Experts’ Meeting (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia) 
April 2019 MSDF Chief of Staff and MSDF vessel visit China (Qingdao, Shandong Province, China)
May 2019 11th Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs (Otaru City, Hokkaido)
May 2019 Japan-China Defense Ministerial Meeting on the margin of the Shangri-La Dialogue(Singapore) 

[Reference 4: Mutual Listing of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF)]
In accordance with the memorandum of understanding for the promotion of Japan-China securities market cooperation signed between the financial authorities of Japan and China during Prime Minister Abe’s visit to China in October 2018 and the document between the Japan Exchange Group and Shanghai Stock Exchange signed on the occasion of the first Japan-China Capital Market Forum held in April 2019, Japanese stock ETFs are listed on the Shanghai stock market, while Chinese stock ETFs are listed on the Tokyo stock market. It is expected that this will increase investment opportunities for Japanese and Chinese investors. 
 
[Reference 5: Renminbi (RMB) Clearing Banks]
RMB clearing banks are settlement banks that China establishes in other countries and regions to settle RMB in offshore markets. The establishment of clearing banks in Tokyo contributes to the development of its offshore market and investment promotion in China. Clearing banks in Tokyo may receive a certain amount of RMB liquidity supply from branches in China, which also contributes to increasing the liquidity of the offshore RMB market. Bank of China’s Tokyo Branch was designated as an RMB clearing bank in Japan on October 26, 2018. MUFG Bank was designated on June 27, 2019. 

[Reference 6: Japan-China Innovation Cooperation Dialogue]
During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to China in October 2018, the Japanese and Chinese leaders shared the view to establish a new Japan-China dialogue on innovation and intellectual property, and a memorandum on the establishment of the Japan-China Innovation Cooperation Dialogue was signed. The first dialogue was held in Beijing on April 2, 2019. It discussed primarily the following.
(1) Both sides explained their policies for innovation and exchanged views on: development of standards as a source of creating new markets (e.g., harmonization of standards for next-generation chargers for electric vehicles and of standards for or regulations over hydrogen); and exchange between venture-business and companies.
(2) They shared recognition on the importance of efforts in the field of intellectual property in both Japan and China to develop the environment for Japan-China cooperation in innovation and explained their policies involving the field of intellectual property. Following this, they exchanged views on a variety of challenges, including: protection of trade secrets, elimination of concerns over forced technology transfer (e.g., recent trends surrounding the Regulations on Technology Import and Export Administration (TIER) and the Foreign Investment Law), and measures against pirated products.
(3) They exchanged views on exchange and cooperation in universities and research institutes through existing frameworks.

[Reference 7: Japan-China International Development Cooperation Policy Consultation]
(1) During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to China in October 2018, the two countries decided to coordinate on holding dialogues on international development as a new form of bilateral cooperation, and the Japan-China International Development Cooperation Policy Consultation was held in May 2019.
(2) The first consultation was held in Beijing between Assistant Minister and Director-General Kazuya Nashida of the International Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan from the Japanese side and Director General Tian Lin of the Department of International Cooperation of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) from the Chinese side. This consultation was CIDCA’s first comprehensive policy consultation held with a developed country donor following its establishment (April 2018). 

[Reference 8: Private-Sector Economic Cooperation in Third Countries]
(1) When Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang visited Japan in May 2018, the “Memorandum on Business Cooperation in Third Countries between Japan and China” was signed between the relevant ministers of Japan and China. With regard to Japan-China private-sector economic cooperation in third countries, the two countries agreed to establish a new committee for inter-agency discussions involving both the public and private sectors under the framework of the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue and to discuss concrete projects. They also agreed to hold a forum as a networking venue for private companies during Prime Minister Abe’s visit to China. 
(2) In September 2018, the Committee for the Promotion of Japan-China Business Cooperation in Third Countries held a meeting. With regard to Japan-China private-sector economic cooperation in third countries, it shared the view that international standards would be agreed upon between Japanese and Chinese companies through discussions at the committee and forum, and that the Governments would also provide supports to ensure that projects profitable to third countries are developed.
(3) During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to China in October 2018, the Japan-China Forum on Third Country Business Cooperation was held with the participation of approximately 1,500 representatives of Japanese and Chinese companies and governmental organizations. From Japan, over 50 top executives of major industrial players attended, including Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation). Coinciding with the forum, 52 memorandums of cooperation were exchanged between governmental organizations, companies, and economic associations of Japan and China (fields: infrastructure, distribution, IT, healthcare, and finance). 

[Reference 9: Agreement on Animal Health and Quarantine]
The objective of this agreement is to promote safe transactions of animals and products originating from animals by strengthening Japan-China cooperation on management of cross-border animal diseases. The conclusion of this agreement is expected to accelerate bilateral coordination for the lifting of the ban on exports of livestock, such as Japanese beef, from Japan to China. 

[Reference 10: Exchanges of 30,000 Youths in Five Years and “Japan-China Youth Exchange Promotion Year”]
In October 2018, Prime Minister Abe, who was visiting China, and Premier Li Keqiang shared the view on designating 2019 as a “Japan-China Youth Exchange Promotion Year” from the perspective of deepening mutual trust and understanding between the people of Japan and China, and implementing youth exchanges on the scale of 30,000 people in the next five years. In line with this agreement between the leaders, the “Memorandum on Enhancing Youth Exchanges between the Government of Japan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China” was signed between Foreign Minister Kono, who accompanied the Prime Minister on his visit to China, and State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi. 
[Reference 11: People-to-People Exchanges between Japan and China: Last Five Years]
 
  Japanese visitors to China Chinese visitors to Japan Total
2014 2.72 million people 2.41 million people 5.13 million people
2015 2.50 million people 4.99 million people 7.49 million people
2016 2.59 million people 6.37 million people 8.96 million people
2017 2.68 million people 7.36 million people 10.04 million people
2018 2.69 million people 8.38 million people 11.07 million people
(At the Japan-China Tourism Ministers’ Meeting held in October 2018, it was agreed that Japan and China would newly aim to achieve reciprocal exchanges between 15 million people through achieving balanced increases in the number.) 
 
[Reference 12: Treaty between Japan and China on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons]
This treaty will enable Chinese sentenced persons serving their sentences in Japan and Japanese sentenced persons serving their sentences in China to be transferred to their home countries and execute their sentences in their home countries. Accordingly, it seeks to facilitate the reformation of sentenced persons and their smooth social rehabilitation as well as further deepen bilateral cooperation in the area of criminal justice between Japan and China. 
June 2010 1st round of negotiations (Tokyo)
October 2011 2nd round of negotiations (Beijing)
July 2015 3rd round of negotiations (Tokyo)
April 2018 4th round of negotiations (Beijing)
November 2018 5th round of negotiations (Tokyo)

[Reference 13: Treaty between Japan and China on Extradition]
This treaty will make it mandatory to extradite criminals between Japan and China under certain requirements and clarify extradition procedures. Accordingly, it seeks to contribute to smoother extradition of criminals, punishment of foreign criminals, and suppressing crime, as well as further advance cooperation in the area of criminal justice between Japan and China. 
February 2010 1st round of negotiations (Tokyo)
June 2015 2nd round of negotiations (Beijing)
January 2016 3rd round of negotiations (Tokyo)
December 2017 4th round of negotiations (Beijing)
March 2018 5th round of negotiations (Tokyo)
November 2018 6th round of negotiations (Xi’an)
June 2019 7th round of negotiations (Kobe)

[Reference 14: Memorandum of Understanding on Acceptance of Specified Skilled Workers]
With regard to the acceptance of human resources from China under the “specified skilled worker” status of residence, this memorandum is intended to establish a framework for sharing information between Japanese and Chinese authorities and holding consultations for resolving problems in order to eliminate malicious brokers that collect deposits, etc.