Weekly Media FAQ

January 15, 2008

Prime Minister's Visit to China

Q: What were the concrete achievements of Prime Minister Fukuda's year-end visit to China?

A: Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China was one that resulted in a number of concrete achievements.

This visit resulted in enhancing the relations of trust between the leaders of the two countries, and both side agreed that President Hu would make a visit to Japan during the cherry blossom season in the year 2008.

Both leaders shared a recognition of the importance of Japan-China cooperation for Asia and the international society and that of the responsibilities of the two countries. They agreed to make "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" into concrete cooperation in various areas, agreed with 5 joint documents below.

  • (1) Joint Communiqué on Promotion of Cooperation in the Field of the Environment and Energy
  • (2) Memorandum Relating to Activities of the Japan-China Youth Exchange Friendship Year
  • (3) Joint Statement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Further Strengthening of Scientific and Technical Cooperation Aimed at the Problem of Climate Change
  • (4) Implementing arrangement between the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan for cooperation in the area of magnetic fusion energy research and development and related fields
  • (5) New Common Recognition by Both Leaders of the Issue of the East China Sea

The Prime Minister was also able to speak directly to people all over China through a speech at Peking University and an interview with CCTV that was broadcast across the country on January 6th.

Before returning to Japan, the Prime Minister made a stop in Qufu, hometown of Confucius, to recall the special relationship that exists within Japan-China relations. This visit to Qufu also recalled the links existing between Japan and China in terms of thought and philosophy.

On the issue of the environment, Prime Minister Fukuda proposed at the summit meeting to place a "Japan-China Environmental Information Plaza" in the Sino-Japan Friendship Center for Environmental Protection and to establish 10 "the Energy Conservation and Environmental Cooperation Consultation Centers" within China, which will disseminate Japanese technology on business basis. In addition, the Japanese side will provide training for 10,000 people in three years through the proposed scheme so that Japan's expertise can be shared with them.

With regard to a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests," the two countries agreed to strengthen three types of exchanges, namely youth exchanges of some 4,000 youth annually for the next 4 years, intellectual exchanges, and exchanges in the area of national security.

In particular, with regard to exchanges related to national security, in 2007, the two sides conducted the first visit by a Chinese People's Liberation Army vessel to Japan, a landmark event for both Japan and China. In 2008, it will be the turn for Japan's Defense Minister and a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel to pay a visit to China. At the summit meeting, both sides agreed to promote mutual understanding in a broad area by creating opportunities for persons involved in defense from both countries to interact with eminent persons and civilians from the other country.

Regarding the issue of joint development of natural resources in the East China Sea, both sides confirmed that previous dialogues had deepened mutual understanding and that positive developments towards a concrete proposal for resolution of the issue had been obtained. Both sides agreed to continue the dialogue and aim to resolve the issue at the earliest possible time.

Lastly, with regard to the Taiwan issue, the Prime Minister indicated that Japan's position is that, as stated in the Japan-China Joint Communiqué, Japan hopes for a peaceful resolution and can not support any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, and that Japan does not hope for any situation that heighten cross-strait tensions through the holding of the referendum in Taiwan, and if the referendum would lead to the unilateral action to change the status quo, Japan can not support it.

Related Information (Japan-China Relations)

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