Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting (Overview)

May 28, 2012

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting with Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK), in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China, on May 13 on the occasion of the Japan-China-ROK Summit Meeting. The following is an overview of the meeting:

Also present at the meeting on the Japanese side were Mr. Yukio Edano, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Mr. Tsuyoshi Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mr. Akihisa Nagashima, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister; Mr. Masatoshi Muto, Japanese Ambassador to the ROK; and others. Participants on the ROK side included Mr. Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Mr. Hong Suk-woo, Minister of Knowledge Economy; and Mr. Park Tae-ho, Minister for Trade; Mr. Shin Kak-soo, Korean Ambassador to Japan.

Against the backdrop of the present situation in East Asia, the two leaders began the meeting with Prime Minister Noda’s explanation of his recent visit to the United States, then confirmed the importance of cooperation between Japan and the ROK, both of which are allied with the U.S., including security area, and they went on to spend much time discussing the North Korean situation.

1. Situation in East Asia, etc.

  1. (1) At the outset, Prime Minister Noda stated that (a) Japan and the ROK were both U.S. allies sharing basic values and interests such as securing peace and stability in the East Asian region, (b) he welcomed the signing of the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Investment Agreement and the consensus on launching negotiations for a Japan-China-ROK Free Trade Agreement, and (c) Japan would like to cooperate with the ROK on bilateral and multilateral occasions in the future in seeking to enhance multilayered and future-oriented relations between the two countries.
  2. (2) While explaining his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Washington D.C., Prime Minister Noda mentioned the Japan-U.S. alliance and the present situation in East Asia, stating that the Japan-U.S. alliance was the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and that Japan and ROK should cooperate closely, including Japan-ROK-U.S. trilateral cooperation to appropriately cope with any provocations and conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region.
  3. (3) In response, President Lee congratulated Prime Minister Noda on his successful U.S. visit, which confirmed the strengthening of Japan-U.S. cooperation.

2. North Korea

  1. (1) The two leaders shared the view that the missile launch by North Korea on April 13 was a clear violation of relevant U.N. Security Council Resolutions, and that, as a result of cooperation of the countries concerned, including Japan and the ROK, the international community sent a strong message to North Korea through the prompt issuance of the Security Council Presidential Statement, which included strong condemnation of the launch and a warning against further provocation.
  2. (2) The two sides also affirmed the importance of preventing further provocation by North Korea and confirmed that Japan and the ROK as well as Japan, the ROK and the U.S. would continue close cooperation while also cooperating with other countries concerned including China. The two sides concurred on the need for a firm response in the event of any further provocation.
  3. (3) Prime Minister Noda expressed gratitude to President Lee for the ROK's support for the abduction issue and requested continued cooperation toward the resolution of humanitarian issues, including the issue of family reunion of separated families.

3. Other Issues

  1. (1) In addition, the two leaders exchanged views on the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the fields of security and economy.
  2. (2) Prime Minister Noda stated that although there were difficult issues pointed out by each side on which the two sides take different positions, he wished to continue to discuss the issues calmly from a broader point of view on Japan and the ROK relations. Finally, the two leaders acknowledged that their meeting was meaningful in that they were able to confirm the importance of close cooperation between Japan and the ROK and among Japan, the ROK and the U.S., considering the present situation of East Asia. The two leaders confirmed that the two countries would continue close cooperation at various levels.

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