Japan-China Relations

Joint Press Statement

April 17, 2018

On 16 April 2018, the Fourth Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue was held in Tokyo. Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono served as the chair on the Japanese side and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi served as the chair on the Chinese side. Profound exchanges of views were held regarding the four topics; (i) macroeconomic policy, (ii) cooperation and exchanges in the economic field between Japan and China, (iii) Japan-China cooperation in third countries, and (iv) economic partnership in East Asia and response towards global issues.

From the Japanese side, Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr. Keiichi Ishii, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism, Mr. Takao Ochi, State Minister of Cabinet Office, Mr. Kenichiro Ueno, State Minister of Finance, Mr. Masaaki Taniai, State Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms. Naomi Tokashiki, State Minister of Environment, Mr. Tadahiko Ito, State Minister of Environment, among others, attended.

From the Chinese side, Mr. Liu Kun, Minister of Finance, Mr. Zhong Shan, the Minister of Commerce, Mr. Zhang Yong, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Mr. Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment, Mr. Qu Dongyu, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mme. Gao Yan, Vice Minister of Commerce, Mr. Zhang Jiwen, Deputy Customs Commissioner-General of the General Administration of Customs, Mr. Chen Xiaodong, Assistant Foreign Minister, among others, attended the dialogue.

  1. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, both sides shared the view to continue to observe the principles enunciated in the four basic documents, and solidify the political foundations of Japan-China relations. Both sides also shared the view that the resuming of the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue for the first time in eight years will strengthen mutual exchanges, further promote the economic development of both countries, and will have a positive impact on the process of the improvement of Japan-China relations. Both sides looked back on the outcomes of cooperation between Japan and China in the economic field to date, and held wide-ranging overview discussions from a long-term perspective regarding further promotion of cooperation. Based on the views that Japan and China are important partners in the economic field, that mutual economic development is an opportunity, and that the development of an equal and mutually-beneficial economic relationship is in the interest of both countries, both sides shared the view to work on expanding cooperation and exchanges on various levels. Also, as the second and third largest economies in the world, both Japan and China shared the view to promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, protect the multilateral trade system, promote the globalization process of the economy, and play a responsible role in the development of the regional and global economy and solving global issues.
  2. Both sides exchanged their views on their respective and global economic situations, macroeconomics and fiscal policies. The Japanese side explained that the most important issue for the Japanese economy is to overcome the hurdle of falling birthrate and aging population, and raising the potential growth rate through supply side reforms, and that the Abe administration is placing “Human Resources Development Revolution” to enhance the quality of each individual member of the work force and the “Productivity Revolution”, which forms the core of the growth strategy as its top priority. Also, the Japanese side explained the industrial policy concept of “Connected Industries” under which industries and companies are connected by data through the implementation of new technologies, and its initiatives for promotion of fiscal soundness. The Chinese side explained its philosophy and approach towards promoting its new phase of all-around opening up of China, and the intention to deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation with countries around the world, including Japan, through the steady execution of important measures for opening to the outside world such as drastic relaxation of entry into markets, creation of a more attractive investment environment, strengthening of the protection of intellectual property rights, and voluntary expansion of imports, among others.
  3. Both sides shared the view that they should expand mutually-beneficial practical cooperation and improve the quality and level of Japan-China economic relations. Also, the Chinese side raised themes such as cooperation in energy-saving/environment, science and technology/innovation, high-end manufacturing industries, fiscal and monetary policy, the sharing economy, and medical care/long-term care, and both sides would examine the possibilities for cooperation in these areas. Both sides shared the view to strengthen cooperation in the fields of service industries, energy-saving/environment, technological innovation, finance, and tourism, among others, to strengthen exchanges in the field of international environmental treaties and the sharing of environmental management experiences, to develop agricultural cooperation between the two countries and in the region, to encourage food and agricultural trade, and strengthen cooperation on animal health and animal quarantine, and both sides held exchanges of views on improving the business environment, encouraging two-way investment, placing greater importance on the protection of intellectual property, etc., and expressed their positive intention to deepen their exchanges and expand their cooperation.
  4. Based on the view affirmed at the Japan-China Summit Meeting in November 2017, both sides shared the view that promoting business activities between private-sector companies as well as their development in third countries, is beneficial for expanding bilateral economic cooperation, and would also bring benefits for third countries. Both sides affirmed to maintain communications, and to consider settings for discussions by people from the public and private sectors and specific cooperation cases.
  5. Both sides shared the view to put more effort into accelerating the Japan-China-Republic of Korea FTA negotiations, to promote liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment in East Asia, and to aim for an early conclusion of the East Asia Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) together with other RCEP members. Both sides held exchanges of views on financial cooperation in the ASEAN+3 framework, strengthening of the multilateral free trade systems including the WTO, cooperation regarding climate change, biodiversity and the sustainable development goals, and development of the business environment, among others.
  6. Both sides shared the view that the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue is an important mechanism for both countries to strengthen comprehensive and broad dialogue regarding cooperation in the economic fields and shared the view that they will continue to hold the dialogue, including holding a fifth meeting in China at an appropriate time convenient for both sides.

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