Japan-China Relations

May 26, 2024
Prime Minister Kishida is shaking hands with Mr. Li Qiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Prime Minister Kishida is consulting with Mr. Li Qiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On May 26, commencing at 6:15pm (local time; same as Japan time) for approximately 60 minutes through simultaneous interpretation, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting Seoul in the Republic of Korea (ROK) to attend the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting, held a summit meeting with Mr. Li Qiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China. The summary of the meeting is as follows:

  1. Overview
    Prime Minister Kishida stated that he hopes to continue dialogue at various levels and make progress on various challenges as well as issues of concern between Japan and China while materializing various possibilities that exist in Japan-China relations, in line with a broad direction of comprehensively promoting a “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests” and building “constructive and stable Japan-China relations,” which was reaffirmed by Prime Minister Kishida and President Xi Jinping in November 2023. Premier Li Qiang expressed similar views. Prime Minister Kishida also stressed that stabilizing Japan-China relations through making such efforts in a continuous manner is extremely important not only for the two countries but also for the region as well as the international community.
    The two leaders discussed issues of concern and cooperative projects between the two countries as follows, and confirmed to maintain multi-layered communications at all levels, including at the summit level.
  2. Bilateral Cooperation
    The two leaders shared the view and decided to instruct respective authorities to carry out relevant work to appropriately promote dialogue and cooperation at different levels in various fields such as green economy, including environment and energy conservation, as well as medical care, nursing care, and healthcare. In this context, Prime Minister Kishida stated that he would like to have relevant authorities to coordinate with the Chinese side to resume Japanese beef export and expand polished rice export to China, and proposed cooperation in third-country markets to contribute to regional and international economic development in the post-COVID era. The two leaders concurred to make efforts to realize concrete progress in those areas of cooperation by taking advantage of the next Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue to be held at an appropriate timing.
    The two leaders also reaffirmed the importance of ensuring a business environment that guarantees legitimate business activities. Prime Minister Kishida once again requested an early resumption of visa waiver measures for Japanese nationals’ short-term stay in China. Furthermore, the two leaders shared the view to continue cooperation and collaboration on global issues such as development finance, climate change, and global health.
    The two leaders concurred to support expansion of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, including the youths who will lead the future of the two countries, in various fields such as parliamentary, political party, local exchanges as well as culture, sports, and tourism, by taking advantage of the next Japan-China High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchange Dialogue, which is under consideration to be held in the near future.
  3. Bilateral Issues of Concern
    Prime Minister Kishida reiterated his serious concerns about issues such as the situation in the East China Sea, including the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands, and the intensification of China’s military activities in areas surrounding Japan including China’s collaboration with Russia. He also called for the immediate removal of the buoy installed in Japan’s EEZ. He further expressed serious concerns about the situations in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and others. On Taiwan, Prime Minister Kishida, stating that Japan is closely monitoring relevant developments including military activities, reiterated that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is extremely important for the international community, including Japan.
    Regarding the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, the two leaders valued the progress made in bilateral working-level communications, including between the relevant experts of the two countries, since the Japan-China summit meeting in November 2023. Prime Minister Kishida then expressed his hope that the monitoring being conducted under the IAEA with the participation of interested countries will promote understanding of China and other interested countries. In order to resolve the issue, the two leaders decided to accelerate the working-level consultation process, building upon the progress made in the bilateral communications to date. Prime Minister Kishida also reiterated his call for the immediate lifting of import restrictions on Japanese food products by the Chinese side.
    Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida reiterated Japan’s position and called for the early release of Japanese nationals detained in China.
  4. International Affairs
    The two leaders also discussed international affairs, such as North Korea including the abductions issue, the Middle East and Ukraine. The two leaders confirmed continuous and close communication on such issues.

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