Asia

Joint Declaration for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia

Seoul, Republic of Korea

November 1, 2015
Japanese

We, the Leaders of the Republic of Korea, Japan and the People’s Republic of China, convened in Seoul, Korea on November 1, 2015, on the occasion of the Sixth Trilateral Summit.

We appreciated that trilateral cooperation, since its inception in 1999, has developed through the regular holding of the Trilateral Summits in the three countries since 2008, independently from the ASEAN+3 Summit; that such cooperation has been further institutionalized through the establishment of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) in 2011; and that there has been progress towards the realization of the visions set forth in the Joint Declarations/Statements of the Leaders of the three countries, including Trilateral Cooperation VISION 2020.

Acknowledging that steady progress has been made in trilateral cooperation in various areas despite fluid situations in the Northeast Asian region in recent years, we shared the view that trilateral cooperation has been completely restored on the occasion of this Summit, held almost three and a half years after the Fifth Trilateral Summit held in May 2012. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, expressed appreciation for the efforts made by Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea, the chair country, to restore trilateral cooperation during the past years.

We reached the common recognition that the situation in which economic interdependence and political/security tensions coexist must be overcome in order to build permanent peace, stability and co-prosperity in the region, and to continue to develop trilateral cooperation unwaveringly.

To this end, we came to the recognition that respective bilateral ties among the three countries constitute an important foundation for trilateral cooperation, and that the deepening of trilateral cooperation, in turn, contributes to each bilateral relations and to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Northeast Asian region. In the spirit of facing history squarely and advancing towards the future, we agreed that the three countries should address related issues properly and to work together to improve bilateral relations and to strengthen trilateral cooperation.

With this in mind, we have decided as follows:

REALIZING PEACE AND COOPERATION IN NORTHEAST ASIA

1 Affirming that the deepening of trilateral cooperation will contribute to the stable development of respective bilateral ties among the three countries and to the realization of peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia, we will further institutionalize trilateral cooperation and develop the process of dialogue and cooperation.

2 We reaffirmed that the Trilateral Summit is to be held on a regular basis in the three countries, as specified in the 2008 Joint Statement for Tripartite Partnership. To broaden the scope of trilateral cooperation, we decided to encourage a more active promotion of over 50 intergovernmental consultative mechanisms, including about 20 ministerial-level mechanisms, as well as numerous cooperative projects, and to promote the creation of new intergovernmental consultative mechanisms, including ministerial-level mechanisms.

3 Speaking highly of the efforts made by the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) in advancing trilateral cooperation, we expressed support for the capacity-building of the TCS by its participation in all ministerial-level consultative mechanisms within the framework of trilateral cooperation. Accordingly, we shared the view that the creation of a Trilateral Cooperation Fund (TCF) will be instrumental for the development of trilateral cooperation projects.

4 We appreciated the various endeavors made so far to promote regional cooperation, and decided to make joint efforts to achieve the common goal of building regional trust and cooperation. In this regard, the Leaders of Japan and the People’s Republic of China highly appreciated and welcomed, and agreed to further develop the Republic of Korea’s “Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative” (NAPCI) aimed to build trust in the region through dialogue and cooperation. We appreciated that the various cooperation projects discussed at the Second High-level Intergovernmental Meeting on NAPCI held in October, 2015 will contribute to expanding trilateral cooperation by strengthening trust in the region, and we will continue to pursue high-level meetings relevant to NAPCI.

5 Referring to the Cooperation on Nuclear Safety adopted at the Fourth Trilateral Summit in 2011, we reached the common recognition that we will continue trilateral consultations on nuclear safety. In this regard, we appreciated the discussions at the 8th Top Regulators’ Meeting and the 3rd TRM+ Meeting (International Forum on Northeast Asia Nuclear Safety Cooperation) held in October 2015, and we will, building on progress thus made, continue to strengthen our cooperation through enhanced regional cooperation process in the field of civil nuclear safety.

6 Referring to the Cooperation on Disaster Management adopted at the Fourth Trilateral Summit in 2011, we will strengthen cooperation among the three countries to enhance disaster prevention and disaster relief capabilities. We appreciated the success of the Trilateral Table-Top Exercise on Disaster Management (TTX) hosted by the TCS, and welcomed the participation of interested countries such as the United States, Russia and Mongolia in April 2015. We welcomed the outcomes of the Trilateral Joint Statement on Disaster Management Cooperation in October 2015. Acknowledging that Japan submitted a proposal of the resolution to establish the World Tsunami Day to the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly, we raise awareness of threats and measures against tsunamis through the collaboration among the three countries, in order to mitigate damage caused by tsunamis in the international community.

EXPANDING ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COOPERATION FOR CO-PROSPERITY

7 Reiterating our commitment in the Trilateral Cooperation VISION 2020 to work towards further economic integration in the long-term, including the establishment of a common market in the region, we will make full use of the high complementarities and great potential of the three economies and bring to higher levels our cooperation in various economic and social fields.

8 We will further strengthen economic and trade relations and deepen the convergence of interests. We endorsed the achievements of the 10th Tripartite Economic and Trade Ministers' Meeting held in Seoul in October 2015. We also welcomed the decision to start the joint project “Trilateral Cooperation for Improvement of Supply Chain Connectivity". We reiterated that we would enhance cooperation with a view to creating an attractive environment for trade and investment.

9 We appreciated that the Trilateral Investment Agreement, which came into effect in May 2014, has improved the investment environment and promoted investment in the region, and reaffirmed that we will make further efforts towards the acceleration of the trilateral FTA negotiations to realize a comprehensive, high-level and mutually beneficial FTA.

10 In light of the importance of e-commerce in the generation of new economic value, we shared the view that the creation of a region-wide digital single market can benefit all three countries. In this regard, we encouraged the three countries to explore possible ways of cooperation in e-commerce, such as information sharing, joint studies and training, and exchanges in the public and private sector.

11 Acknowledging the importance of developing innovative technologies for economic growth and strengthening industrial competitiveness among the three countries, we noted that new industries of high-added value such as bio and healthcare, e-commerce, software, and cultural content will advance the industrial structure of the three countries, and we will explore ways to further strengthen trilateral cooperation in the new industries.

12 To effectively respond to the serious challenges recently facing the global and regional economy and financial markets, promote economic growth and maintain financial stability in the region, we will bolster our cooperation through information-sharing and policy coordination among the financial authorities of the three countries. We welcomed the progress made in increasing the readiness and effectiveness of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM), transforming the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) into an international organization, and enhancing the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI). We particularly supported the three countries to further enhance AMRO’s capacity and the role in securing regional economic and financial stability. We appreciated the achievements of the 15th Trilateral Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting held in Lima in October 2015. The Republic of Korea explained its initiative to create Northeast Asia Development Bank (NEADB). Japan and China took note of this initiative.

13 We agreed to strengthen the cooperation on improvement of production capacity in the fourth-party-market. We shared the views that the cooperation among the private companies of the three countries in the fourth country market is increasing in the various sectors of manufacturing and service industries. We would hope to promote the business efforts to enhance cooperation in this regard.

14 Recognizing that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in the sustainable development and growth of the economy, we will strengthen cooperation among the SMEs of the three countries, including the exchange of information and human resources.

15 To enhance cooperation in science and innovation and address common regional and global issues, we will strengthen the research capacity of the three countries. For this purpose, we will continue the Joint Research Collaboration Program (JRCP) and the A3 Foresight Program, and will explore the possibility of expanding support for research on fields of common interest and expanding researcher exchanges. In addition, we will hold the Trilateral Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation at a convenient time, and explore the possibility of launching the “Trilateral Young Scientists Exchange Program.”

16 Affirming the importance of creative economy, innovation economy and economic reform in promoting prosperity and advancement of the three countries, we will strive to combine the Republic of Korea’s creative economy policy, China’s mass entrepreneurship and innovation policy, and relevant polices of Japan, and create a consultative body to explore cooperative measures and establish partnership among the three countries.

17 We will hold the Trilateral ICT Ministers’ Meeting on a regular basis to facilitate joint research, technology cooperation, information sharing and human resources exchange.

18 Referring to the Joint Statement on Standards Cooperation adopted at the Third Trilateral Summit in 2010, we will enhance cooperation on standards, including the research of the harmonization of standards and the proposal of harmonized international standards, through the Standing Committee and the Northeast Asia Standards Cooperation Forum.

19 We reaffirmed the necessity of trilateral energy cooperation in achieving sustainable growth and co-prosperity of Northeast Asia. In this regard, we will strengthen our cooperation on LNG to enhance the liquidity and efficiency of the LNG market in Northeast Asia.

20 Through the Trilateral Ministerial Conference on Transport and Logistics, we will create a seamless logistics system within the Northeast Asian region, establish environmentally-friendly logistics systems, and continue working towards balance between security and efficiency in logistics. Accordingly, we will share information through the Northeast Asia Logistics Information Service Network (NEAL-Net), and make efforts to increase the number of ports subject to the NEAL-Net, and to expand the service area to include ASEAN and the EU.

21 In light of the potential for development of the aviation market in the region, we will continue bilateral or consider trilateral discussions among the three countries to explore the possibility of creating a more liberal and beneficial environment at the regional level.

22 We expressed continued support for the active implementation of the Action Plan of the Tripartite Customs Cooperation, in order to strengthen cooperation in the field of customs, including trade facilitation and security, through the framework of the Tripartite Customs Heads’ Meeting.

23 We welcomed the Second Trilateral Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting held in September 2015 for sustainable agricultural growth and the stable supply of food, and appreciated the adoption of the Joint Communiqué on agricultural cooperation and the Memorandum of Cooperation on Response against Transboundary Animal Diseases.

24 We will continue to bolster trilateral cooperation in the fields of employment and labor, food safety, and intellectual property rights.

PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

25 We affirmed the importance of sustainable development in building a future of peace and prosperity where people live in harmony with the planet. In this regard, we will make concerted efforts to realize sustainable development in pursuit of transforming our world by balancing economic development, social integration and environmental protection, based on global solidarity and shared responsibility.

26 We welcomed the official adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN Sustainable Development Summit held in September 2015, and recognized the importance of faithfully implementing the agenda for the sustainable future of mankind and the planet.

27 We reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in environmental protection. In this regard, we welcomed the adoption of the Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation (2015-2019) of nine priority areas at the 17th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM) in April 2015. Recognizing the importance of tackling air pollution in the region, we encouraged the three countries to share good practices and efforts on improving air quality through the Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Air Pollution (TPDAP). We also recognized the significance of the Dust and Sandstorms (DSS) issue as a major environmental challenge in the region and urged strengthening collaboration in the field of DSS. In addition, we valued dialogue and cooperation on an Information Exchange on Tripartite Pollution Prevention and Control Technology project among the three countries. This project intends to enable environmental corporations to share information on technologies for pollution prevention and control and to promote trading of environmental technologies through relevant TEMM mechanisms.

28 Promoting sustainable development, we recognized the significance of the Sound Material Cycle Society/Circular Economy/3R, and expected cooperation in this field. In addition, we appreciate China’s efforts in the development of the CJK circular economy model bases in China, and we expected that the model bases could play a demonstration role at an early date. We should strengthen communication and coordination to this end.

29 We will cooperate for the adoption of a legally binding and ambitious agreement that follows the principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change applicable to all parties at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21) to be held in Paris later this year. In addition, we recalled the commitment undertaken by developed countries to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, and recognized that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) should play a key role in the financial mechanism under the Convention in the Post-2020 period.

30 We expressed support for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets as well as the Pyeongchang Roadmap, and will continue the Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Biodiversity to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

31 Under the framework of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) and TEMM, we will make joint efforts for raising public awareness on the necessity to reduce marine litter and conducting joint monitoring of marine litter. Furthermore, we will cooperate in regulating the transboundary movement of electric and electronic waste and jointly respond to the request of the international community in accordance with the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

32 Reaffirming the importance of transition to a green economy for sustainable development and poverty eradication, underlined at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012, we emphasized the importance of contributing to sustainable development by providing support for the developing countries on their green growth strategies.

33 Fully recognizing the importance of trilateral cooperation in the area of health, including in response to emerging infectious diseases, such as MERS and Ebola, we will enhance information-sharing and technological cooperation among the three countries to strengthen cooperation. As part of such efforts, we will improve information-sharing on manufacturing technology and supply of source plasma and plasma derivatives for the safe supply of plasma derivatives in emergencies, including the outbreak of infectious diseases or natural disasters. We welcomed the Global Health Security Agenda High-Level Meeting successfully held in Seoul in September 2015, and shared the view that the Seoul Declaration adopted at the meeting will substantially contribute to the capacity-building of the developing countries in tackling infectious diseases. We look forward to the 8th Tripartite Health Ministers Meeting to be successfully held in Kyoto, Japan in November 2015.

34 Acknowledging the global importance of Arctic issues, we will launch a trilateral high-level dialogue on the Arctic to share Arctic policies, explore cooperative projects and seek ways to deepen cooperation over the Arctic.

ENHANCING TRUST AND UNDERSTANDING AMONG THE PEOPLES

35 We expressed the common recognition that exchanges and cooperation among the peoples of the three countries lay an important foundation for increasing understanding among the three countries, and will expand and develop various people-to-people and cultural exchanges with the aim of strengthening understanding and trust.

36 We will continue to hold youth exchange programs such as the Trilateral Youth Friendship Meeting, the Future Forum, and the Trilateral Youth Summit to promote exchanges and amity among the future leaders of the three countries.

37 Recognizing the important role of education for increasing understanding and common development among the three countries, we will establish the Trilateral Education Ministers’ Meeting with the aim to expand trilateral cooperation in the field of education. In this regard, we will promote student exchanges in stages in accordance with the principles of openness, flexibility, diversification, and standardization, recognizing CAMPUS Asia Project’s exemplary role in educational cooperation among the three countries.

38 As PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be consecutively hosted in the three countries, we will promote trilateral exchanges to enhance sports cooperation and share experience.

39 We recognized that the three countries share rich cultural assets and have great potential for cooperation in the content industry. In this regard, we will resume the Trilateral Cultural Industry Forum at an early date to explore cooperative measures, such as co-production and copyright protection.

40 Recognizing the importance and value of cultural and arts education in enhancing the quality of cultural life, we will strengthen mutual exchanges and cooperation in trilateral cultural and arts education, and continue to hold the Trilateral Culture and Arts Education Forum.

41 We will conduct consultations on holding the Trilateral Art Festival outside the three countries, promote exchanges and mutual learning in the fields of culture, strengthen cooperation in the protection of intangible cultural heritage, encourage and support youth cultural exchanges, and enhance the role of culture in coping with social issues.

42 Affirming the importance of expanding tourism exchanges among the three countries, we will strive to increase the number of people-to-people exchanges among us to 30 million until 2020 by promoting tourism exchanges, improving travellers’ convenience and developing joint promotions, such as the “Visit East Asia Campaign”.

43 Considering the importance of exchanges and cooperation among the local governments of the three countries in promoting understanding and trust among the peoples, we will encourage sister/friendship city exchanges, as well as other various forms of cooperation at the local government level.

44 We appreciated that the “East Asian Cultural Cities” has become a platform of cultural exchange and cooperation, by deepening mutual understanding and sharing cultural affection and happiness among the three countries. We congratulate that Jeju Special Self-Governing Province of the Republic of Korea, Nara of Japan, and Ningbo of China will be East Asian Cultural Cities in the year 2016, and supported the establishment of a network of East Asian Cultural Cities to facilitate greater international exchanges among the cities.

45 Considering the importance of public diplomacy in cultural and people-to-people exchanges, we encouraged and supported the foreign ministries of the three countries to continue consultations on a trilateral forum on public diplomacy to enhance understanding and friendship among the peoples of the three countries.

46 Underlining the importance of cooperation among the three countries in the field of consular affairs for more effective protection of nationals overseas, we will work closely to explore the possibility of establishing and holding meetings of a Trilateral Consular Consultation to share best practices and explore further cooperation.

47 Bearing in mind the geographical proximity and the volume of people-to-people exchanges and trade among the three countries, we will explore the possibility of establishing a trilateral consultation among the police authorities to jointly respond to transnational crimes and enhance social stability.

48 We will continue exchange programs for government officials and journalists, the “Young Ambassador’s Program,” the “Network of Trilateral Cooperation Think-tanks,” and the trilateral cooperation among the diplomatic training institutions to enhance understanding and trust with regard to trilateral cooperation.

CONTRIBUTING TO REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND PROSPERITY

49 We reaffirmed that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula as well as in Northeast Asia is in our common interest. In this regard, we welcome that tensions in August on the Korean Peninsula were resolved by the agreement between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK. We hope that the agreement will lead to meaningful progress in inter-Korean relations. We reaffirmed our firm opposition to the development of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula, and shared the view that international obligations and commitments under all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement must be faithfully implemented. We oppose any action that may cause tension on the Korean Peninsula or violate relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We decided to continue our joint efforts to resume meaningful Six Party Talks at an early date to make substantial progress in denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner.

50 China and Japan expressed support for the efforts towards overcoming national division on the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner, and in this regard, highly appreciated the relevant initiatives aimed at promoting trust-building and enhancing exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Korean Peninsula.

51 We shared the view that strengthening trilateral cooperation on non-proliferation is necessary for regional and international peace and security. To this end, we will establish a Trilateral Consultation on Non-proliferation. We will continue to work together to improve nuclear security, including the cooperation between our Centers of Excellence on nuclear security.

52 Recognizing that malicious cyber activities, terrorism, and violent extremism pose grave threats to international security, we will closely cooperate in formulating a joint response. In this vein, we welcomed the Third Trilateral Consultation on Counterterrorism held in May 2015, and the Second Trilateral Cyber Policy Consultation held in October 2015.

53 We will closely work together for the success of the G20 Summit, APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the ASEAN+3 Summit, the East Asia Summit to be held within this year.

54 Recognizing the importance of the trilateral cooperation for regional cooperation, we will work together to advance East Asian regional cooperation with the trilateral cooperation serving as an engine. We will support the implementation of the East Asia Vision Group II (EAVG II) Final Report to be reported at the ASEAN+3 Summit in November, 2015. Reaffirming our support for ASEAN Centrality in the process of East Asian regional cooperation, we will make joint efforts towards the economic integration of East Asia, such as the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015, the establishment of the East Asian Economic Community by 2020 and the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations that will realize a comprehensive, high-quality and mutually beneficial agreement. We look forward to the leaders adopting a declaration celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the East Asia Summit and outlining the way forward.

55 We exchanged views on current trends in the international economy, including uncertainty and potential risk factors. In this vein, we will make concerted efforts to resolve challenges facing the global economy to accelerate global economic recovery, enhance potential growth and promote sustainable development. In addition, we looked forward to meaningful progress at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC10) in Nairobi, the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the ASEAN+3 Summit and the G20 Summit to be held in 2015, including discussions on the advancement of regional economic integration and strong, sustainable, and balanced growth. We will closely work together for the success of the G20 Summit in 2016.

56 We appreciated that the Trilateral Meeting of Directors-General for Latin America and Caribbean Affairs has been held continuously on a regular basis; welcomed the Fifth Trilateral Policy Dialogue on African Affairs held in September 2015; and will hold a trilateral policy consultation meeting on Middle Eastern and North African affairs. We encouraged the regular holding of such regional policy consultations.

We look forward to Japan taking chairmanship in the year 2016.