Japan-People’s Republic of China Summit Meeting (Summary)

May 31, 2012

Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with Mr. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the People’s Republic of China, on May 13 during his visit to Beijing to attend the Trilateral Summit of Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. Among those 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; and Mr. Uichiro Niwa, Ambassador to China. Participants on the Chinese side included Dr. Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Zhang Ping, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission; Dr. Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce; and Mr. Cheng Yonghua, Ambassador to Japan. An overview of the meeting follows:

1. Japan-China Relations in General

  1. (1) Both sides shared the recognition that the initiatives that were laid out at the Prime Minister Noda’s visit to China last December have been achieving steady progress and that the overall relations between Japan and China have been developing in a favorable manner this year, which marked the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
  2. (2) Prime Minister Noda reiterated his belief that development of Japan and China would bring about great opportunities to both countries as well as to their region and the international community as a whole and that it was important for the two countries to continue to develop and play constructive roles further in the region and the international community.
  3. (3) Premier Wen stated that while the Japan-China relations developed significantly during the past 40 years, there were occasionally some twists and turns, and that it was incumbent upon both countries to respect each other’s core interests and major concerns based on the basic principles enumerated in four basic documents so that specific individual issues would not impede the overall bilateral relationship. In response, Prime Minister Noda emphasized that even though some difficult problems surfaced every now and then because of close bilateral relations, both countries’ leaders must hold comprehensive perspectives and endeavor together to resolve these problems.

2. North Korea

  1. (1) Both sides appreciated the U.N. Security Council Presidential Statement which strongly condemned the recent missile launch by North Korea as a serious violation of the relevant Security Council Resolutions and the Council’s decision to improve the effectiveness of sanctions. They also confirmed the importance of preventing any further provocation and of maintaining close communication and cooperation between Japan and China.
  2. (2) Prime Minister Noda requested China’s further understanding and cooperation for the resolution of the abduction issue, including raising this issue with North Korea. Premier Wen stated China supported improvement of relations between Japan and North Korea.

3. Specific Issues in Japan-China Relations

(Hereinafter, the issues that were listed in the below (1) to (6) in parentheses mean the “Six Initiatives” proposed by Prime Minister Noda during his visit to China in December last year.)

(1) Enhancing Mutual Trust in the Political Area (Initiative 1)

  1. (a) Both sides concurred in further promoting high-level exchanges to enhance mutual trust in the political area. Prime Minister Noda renewed his invitation for Chinese leaders to visit Japan, and Premier Wen said he would like to keep good communication and consider the matter between the diplomatic authorities of the two countries. The two sides also concurred on the early convening of the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue between Japan and China.
  2. (b) The two sides recognized the importance of fostering mutual trust by promoting exchanges and cooperation in the security area.
  3. (c) Prime Minister Noda expressed hope for cooperation in furthering the understanding and pursuit of fundamental and universal values of the international community by promoting the Japan-China Human Rights Dialogue and using other means.
  4. (d) Premier Wen stated his country’s basic position on issues related to Uyghurs. Prime Minister Noda expressed Japan’s position and said that even though some difficult problems had surfaced every now and then because of close bilateral relations, both countries’ leaders must hold comprehensive perspectives and endeavor together to resolve those problems.

(2) Cooperation on Maritime Affairs (Initiative 2)

  1. (a) Both sides welcomed the first plenary meeting of “Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs” to be held in Hangzhou on May 16. They expressed expectations that the consultation would lead to enhancing trust between the maritime-related agencies of the two countries.
  2. (b) Prime Minister Noda strongly urged for the early resumption of the negotiations on the conclusion of international agreement regarding the development of natural resources in the East China Sea. Premier Wen responded by saying that he hoped for furthering communication between the two countries for the early resumption of the negotiations.
  3. (c) Premier Wen stated China’s assertion on the status of the Senkaku Islands. Prime Minister Noda stated Japan’s basic position, and said it would be undesirable if this issue were to impact adversely on the overall bilateral relations. A similar view was expressed by Premier Wen. Prime Minister Noda urged the Chinese side to act with restraint, pointing out that the active maritime activities by the Chinese in the areas surrounding the Senkaku Islands are giving undesirable influence to the sentiment of Japanese people.

(3) Post-disaster Cooperation(Initiative 3)

  1. Prime Minister Noda asked China to further relax and review its restrictions on the import of Japanese food products and on the travel of Chinese citizens to Japan taking account of the latest developments. Prime Minister Noda reiterated Japan’s request for the early resumption of direct flights between China and the disaster-stricken areas in Japan, such as between Fukushima and Shanghai, and stated that Japan would issue multi-time visas to individual Chinese tourists visiting the three disaster-stricken prefectures, from July 1.

(4) Grading up of Mutually Beneficial Economic Relations (Initiative 4)

  1. (a) Both sides welcomed the signing of the Trilateral Agreement for the Promotion Facilitation and Protection of Investment among Japan, China and the ROK, and the concurrence to launch negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among the three countries. The two leaders shared the view that they would cooperate in promoting a comprehensive economic partnership in the East Asian region.
  2. (b) Both sides highly evaluated the progress made in the negotiations of the agreement between Japan and China on social security, and shared the view that they would further accelerate the negotiations towards its early conclusion.
  3. (c) Both sides welcomed the development of financial cooperation between Japan and China concurred at the end of last year, and confirmed the need to further improve cooperation. The two leaders also shared the view on the need for further cooperation in other fields, including aviation, the Energy Conservation Forum, public- and private-sector exchanges in the field of content including video content, economic exchanges in the service sector, tourism promotion, and protection of intellectual property rights.

(5) Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges (Initiative 5)

  1. (a) Both sides shared the view that they would promote various events and exchanges to give further impetus to the 2012 “Friendship Year for Japan-China People-to-People Exchanges.”
  2. (b) Both sides concurred on the need for further efforts to enhance mutual understanding between the people in both countries with a view to improving their sentiment to each other on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations.
  3. (c) Prime Minister Noda expressed his gratitude for providing new crested ibises from China to Japan.

(6) Strengthening Dialogue and Cooperation on Regional and Global Issues (Initiative 6)

  1. (a) Both sides highly evaluated the roles played by Japan and China in reaching a consensus to strengthen both the capital base of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Chiang Mai Initiative, and shared the view that they would collaborate with each other for the steady implementation of these conclusions.
  2. (b) Prime Minister Noda pointed out the importance of maintaining strategic stability among Japan, the United States, and China, and stated in this connection that it was essential for the three countries to promote dialogue among them. In response, Premier Wen said his country was seriously considering such dialogue among the three countries.

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