Japan to Host the 4th Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting

May 13, 2011

Japan will host the Fourth Trilateral Summit Meeting of Japan, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in Tokyo on May 21 and 22. Mr. Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan, will chair the meeting, which will be also attended by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and ROK President Lee Myung-bak.

Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting Held ahead of the Summit

Ahead of the Summit Meeting, the Fifth Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the three countries was held in Kyoto on March 19, 2011, joined by Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeaki Matsumoto, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-hwan.

1. Great East Japan Earthquake

The three foreign ministers offered heartfelt condolences over the loss of many precious lives in the Great East Japan Earthquake and observed a moment of silence to mourn the victims of the disaster. Minister Matsumoto expressed his deep gratitude for the dispatch of emergency relief teams and the provision of support goods from both China and the ROK. Minister Matsumoto said that the earthquake and tsunami were beyond all imagination even for Japan, relatively well-prepared for such natural disasters, and resulted in large damage. But he also stated that Japan is determined to overcome this crisis in a nationwide concerted effort, with the cooperation of the international community.

The Chinese and ROK foreign ministers said Japan is an important neighbor for their countries and that the two countries share the sufferings Japan is facing and are prepared to continue their support for necessary disaster relief and reconstruction efforts. The two ministers praised the efforts made by Japan in realizing this meeting, which they said shows how important Japan considers its relations with China and the ROK. The three ministers emphasized the importance of cooperation on disaster management and nuclear safety and discussed the best ways to strengthen cooperation in these areas. They also decided to cooperate in achieving concrete results in these areas at the forthcoming Trilateral Summit Meeting.

2. Trilateral Cooperation among Japan, China and ROK

(1) Progress in trilateral cooperation and future direction

The foreign ministers expressed satisfaction with the advancement of wide-ranging trilateral cooperation. Under the common understanding that Japan-China-ROK cooperation contributes to enhancing mutual understanding as well as regional and international peace, prosperity and stability, they shared the intention to further strengthen a future-oriented comprehensive partnership. Specifically, they discussed the following issues:

  1. 1) The ministers reaffirmed the importance of concluding a trilateral investment treaty as soon as possible and welcomed the steady progress of joint research on trilateral FTA by industry, government and academia of the three countries.
  2. 2) The ministers commended the signing of an agreement on the establishment of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat and expressed hope for its early establishment in the ROK this year.
  3. 3) Minister Matsumoto mentioned the importance of further cooperation on food, resources, energy, environment and climate change. The three ministers concurred on the promotion of exchanges and cooperation among universities of the three countries.

(2) Preparations for the 4th Trilateral Summit Meeting

The foreign ministers shared the view to accelerate preparatory work to make the Fourth Trilateral Summit Meeting a success.

3. Regional & International Situations

(1) Northeast Asian situation

Minister Matsumoto said North Korea's uranium enrichment program clearly violates the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks as well as the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and urged North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in accordance with its commitments and obligations. He said North Korea must take concrete actions to show its intention to sincerely fulfill its commitments including its denuclearization and agreed to continue cooperating with China and the ROK toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He also stressed the need for North Korea to take concrete actions to resolve the abduction issue.

(2) East Asian regional cooperation

Minister Matsumoto expressed hope for disaster relief cooperation in the East Asian region, based on a recent relief exercise under the ARF Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF-DiREx) framework and called for the East Asia Summit to step up efforts in the political and security areas.

(3) Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

Minister Matsumoto stressed the need to steadily implement an action program adopted last year at the NPT Review Conference and said Japan is prioritizing an early entry-into-force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and a moratorium on production of fissile materials for weapons use.

(4) Climate Change

Minister Matsumoto said the Cancun agreements adopted last year at the U.N. climate change conference was a major achievement which could lead to a new equitable and effective international framework embracing all major CO2-emitting nations and said it is important for the parties concerned to put into practice wide-ranging elements contained in the agreements with a sense of urgency.

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