May 27, 2024
Prime Minister Mr. Kishida with Mr. YOON Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Mr. Li Qiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China Photo session (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Prime Minister Mr. Kishida is talking at the Trilateral Summit Trilateral Summit (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
Prime Minister Mr. Kishida is talking at the Press Conference after the Trilateral Summit Press Conference (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

The 9th Japan-China-ROK Summit was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, for approximately 75 minutes, commencing at 10 am on May 27th. The outline of the meeting is as follows. The Joint Declaration for the 9th SummitOpen a New Window and its attachments (Joint Statement on a 10 Year Vision for Trilateral IP CooperationOpen a New Window / Joint Statement on Future Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and ResponseOpen a New Window ) have been released after the meeting.

1 General remarks

The three leaders commemorated the 25th anniversary of the trilateral cooperation and welcomed the trilateral process being revitalized. Furthermore, the three leaders concurred on promoting future-oriented practical cooperation that has been developed in various areas, and on continuing their cooperation under Japan’s Chair.
The three leaders also exchanged views on future trilateral cooperation as well as regional and international issues.
In the opening remarks of the Summit, on the North Korea’s notice for a satellite launch, Prime Minister Kishida stated that such a launch, if conducted, would be a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions and urged North Korea not to conduct it.

2 Trilateral Cooperation

The three leaders reaffirmed the significance of the trilateral cooperation in the present day and concurred on promoting cooperation in the priority areas that the Republic of Korea proposed as the Chair. The three leaders also expressed their appreciation for the role that the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat has played to date.
Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan, China and the ROK should put their heads together to lead the world to cooperation rather than division and confrontation through expanding the trilateral cooperation. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida explained Japan’s views on initiatives in the three areas, namely people-to-people exchanges, sustainable society, and cooperation with ASEAN, building upon the significance of the trilateral cooperation in the present day.

(1)People-to-People Exchanges
Multi-layerd people-to-people exchanges centered on youth, forging the future of the relations among the three countries is the foundation, which nurtures mutual understanding and trust toward the future, and it will also be the driving force to create new ideas to address challenges even in a testing period. Based on the recognition, Japan will continue to back up the promotion of the implementation of the programs such as “CAMPUS Asia,”an inter-university exchange program initiated among the three countries, which has expanded to encompass Southeast Asia. Japan also further promotes people-to-people exchanges through tourism.
Japan supports the ROK’s proposal to designate 2025-2026 as “the Year of Cultural Exchange” among the three countries and will enrich the Year of Cultural Exchange under Japan’s Chair.

(2)Sustainable Society
It is beneficial for not only the three countries but also the international society to exhibit the model of sustainable society from East Asia through addressing common challenges in society and economics as well as the global challenges. Japan, together with the ROK and China, will turn challenges into chance including by advancing cooperation based on the Joint Statement on measures for pandemics as well as knowledge sharing on low birthrate and ageing society among the three countries as the ones facing new challenges ahead of others.

(3)Cooperation with ASEAN
ASEAN plays a central role in regional stability and prosperity and also welcomes the revitalization of the trilateral process. It is thus more and more important for the three countries to cooperate with ASEAN for mainstreaming “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)” in order to bring about stability and prosperity in the region. Under the framework of ASEAN plus three, Japan will cooperate with the ROK and China to further materialize the practical cooperation such as enhancing regional financial cooperation including establishing the rapid financing facility to address urgent balance of payment needs, arising including from natural disasters and other exogenous shocks, supporting start-ups for promoting sustainable development, and utilizing the perspective of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in the areas including disaster risk reduction.

3 Regional and Global Situations

Prime Minister Kishida stated that protecting human dignity and maintaining and enhancing the free and open international order based on the rule of law are essential to ensure peace and prosperity in the region as well as the international society through leading the world to cooperation. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida explained Japan’s position on the situation in North Korea, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East, and regional and international economic cooperation.

(1)Korean Peninsula
Prime Minister Kishida expressed serious concern over North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities and development of military cooperation between Russia and North Korea, and reconfirmed that the denuclearization of North Korea and the stability of the Korean Peninsula is the common interest of the three countries. Prime Minister Kishida stated that the three countries should urge North Korea to completely abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. Prime Minister Kishida also asked for continued support of the leaders of the ROK and China for the immediate resolution of the abductions issue and gained their understanding.

(2)Situation in Ukraine
Prime Minister Kishida stated that any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force is never acceptable anywhere in the world, and that it is important to bring about a just and lasting peace. Prime Minister also stated that Japan will continue severe sanctions against Russia and strong support for Ukraine.

(3)Situation in the Middle East
Prime Minister Kishida expressed serious concern about the critical humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and explained that Japan has been making diplomatic efforts towards improving the situation and has been providing more than USD 100 million of assistance for the Palestinians. The three leaders concurred that they will make efforts towards resolving the Middle East Peace issue, sharing the importance of realization of a sustainable ceasefire and the support of a “two-state solution”. The leaders also confirmed that the peace and stability in the Middle East as a whole, is the common interest.

(4)Regional and Global Economic Cooperation
The three leaders concurred that it is important for Japan, the ROK and China, whose GDPs account for more than 20% of the world’s GDP, to play a role to ensure sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the region, and that it is important to promote the trilateral cooperation in the area of intellectual property based on the joint statement issued today.
Pointing out the importance of maintaining and strengthening free and fair international economic order, Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan intends to have a candid exchange of views on how a future-oriented trilateral free trade agreement should be, including high-level economic disciplines among the three countries, which have deep ties in both trade and investment, aiming for an RCEP-plus agreement.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida welcomed the ROK’s initiatives in hosting the meetings such as the AI Seoul Summit and explained Japan’s initiatives toward realizing safe, secure and trustworthy AI, including through the Hiroshima AI Process.
Prime Minister Kishida also expressed his hope for the three countries to cooperate with each other to the success of the 2025 APEC Economic Meeting in the ROK and the Expo 2025, Osaka, Kansai, hosted by Japan.

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