Japan-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting

May 13, 2011

Mr. Takeaki Matsumoto, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held talks with Dr. Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, for about one hour in Kyoto on March 19, 2011. The talks were conducted on the sidelines of the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting. An overview of the talks is as follows:

1. Great East Japan Earthquake

(1) Relief supplies from China

  1. a) Minister Matsumoto expressed his heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Government and people of Japan to many figures such as President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Minister Yang sending heartwarming condolences and words of sympathy to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami; President Hu visiting the Japanese Embassy in Beijing to sign the book of condolences on March 18; the government of China sending an emergency rescue team and relief supplies; many Chinese private sector persons for sending donations for the disaster victims.
  2. b) Minister Yang conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and stated the people of China felt the suffering of the Japanese people as if it was their own. Minister Yang also said he believed that the government and people of Japan would certainly be able to overcome difficulties and succeed in reconstruction.

(2) Cooperation on disaster prevention

  1. a) Minister Matsumoto stated that Japan had suffered immense damage from the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami, and that China had also experienced large earthquakes in the past, including the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Minister Matsumoto also said Japan wanted to share experiences and lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake with China and the ROK and boost cooperation among the three countries in disaster prevention to ensure prompt sharing of information and smooth handling of relief supplies in times of disasters.
  2. b) Minister Yang stated the same stance and the two ministers reached a basic common view to strengthen cooperation in disaster prevention between Japan and China as well as among Japan, China and the ROK.

(3) Safety of nuclear energy

  1. a) Explaining the latest situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, Minister Matsumoto stated that the Japanese government would continue to follow the situation closely and carefully, and handle it with a sense of tension and urgency. Minister Matsumoto also said the government of Japan would make best efforts to ensure that residents around the nuclear power plants could feel safe and at ease and that it would continue to provide necessary information in an appropriate timing.
  2. b) Minister Yang appreciated that Japan was providing detailed information on the nuclear power plant and asked the Japanese government to continue to offer necessary information.

2. Japan-China Relations

(1) Bilateral Relations in General

  1. a) In light of the fact that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution and next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of the Japan-China relationship, the two sides agreed to strive to deepen the "Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests" and improve national sentiments towards each other.
  2. b) The two sides agreed to enhance high-level exchanges, including Prime Minister Kan's visit to China this year. Minister Yang also invited Minister Matsumoto to China. In reply, Minister Matsumoto expressed his gratitude to the invitation and said he wished to visit China at a convenient time for both sides.

(2) Resources development in the East China Sea

Minister Matsumoto conveyed the Japanese people's high attention to the Shirakaba oil and gas field in the East China Sea and stated that it was important for the two countries to resume negotiations on international agreements to execute their 2008 agreement on resources development in the East China Sea. In response, Minister Yang stated that it was important to create an environment and atmosphere necessary for the two countries to resume the negotiations.

3. North Korea

  1. (1) Minister Matsumoto stated that in order to resume the Six-Party Talks and fully resolve North Korean issues, North Korea needs to take concrete actions in the first place toward denuclearization, and he expressed his hope that China urge North Korea to take such actions. Minister Matsumoto said the uranium enrichment program whichNorth Korea had revealed violates the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and the international community, including the UN Security Council, needs to issue a strong message to North Korea.
  2. (2) Minister Yang stated that it was important to have a dialogue to resolve North Korean issues and that from that standpoint, it was important to resume the Six-Party Talks. Minister Yang also stated that the Chinese government was making various necessary efforts.

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