Joint Press Statement
The Inaugural Meeting of the Three-Party Committee of the People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea
(21st June 2004, Qingdao, China)

  1. The Inaugural Meeting of the Three-Party Committee of the People's Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) was held on the 21st of June 2004 in Qingdao, People's Republic of China. Mr. Zhaoxing Li, Foreign Minister of China, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Foreign Minister of Japan, and Mr. Ki-Moon Ban, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister of ROK attended the meeting as the heads of the delegations.
  2. The Three-Party Committee was established based upon the historical Joint Declaration issued at the Trilateral Summit meeting among People's Republic of China, Japan, and ROK held in Bali, Indonesia, October 2003. The leaders of the three countries mandated the Three-Party Committee to study, plan, coordinate and monitor cooperation among the three countries, and to submit progress reports to the annual Trilateral Summit meeting.
  3. The Ministers decided on the modality of the Three-Party Committee and confirmed the principle that meetings of the Three-Party Committee would be held at least once a year in one of the three countries, and the venue of each meeting would be decided on a rotation basis. They also confirmed that the Three-Party Committee may include members of relevant authorities other than the Foreign Ministry in their delegations to the Three-Party Committee, when it is appropriate in light of the agenda of each meeting. They confirmed that the Three-Party Committee makes decisions on consensus. They also confirmed to consider future modalities of the trilateral process with a view to further enhancing cooperation.
  4. The Ministers reviewed progress of the trilateral cooperation, and discussed the future direction of the cooperation among the three countries. They decided to conduct joint work involving relevant authorities of the three countries, as necessary, to formulate the "Action Strategy on Trilateral Cooperation (ASTC)", and to submit the ASTC to the next Trilateral Summit meeting. The ASTC will outline measures to be taken to promote trilateral cooperation within the 14 areas identified by the leaders in the Joint Declaration.

    In reviewing the progress of the cooperation, they expressed their satisfaction with the closer economic relations among the three countries. They appreciated and confirmed their continuous attention to the study on the trilateral FTA currently conducted by the think-tanks of the three countries, and encouraged the work of the Joint Study Group on trilateral investment arrangements, which is working on the report to the leaders. They also emphasized the importance of energy cooperation.

  5. The Ministers exchanged their views on interface with other regional partners, in view of the current progress in regional cooperation in East Asia. They stressed the importance to further advance cooperation with ASEAN, and recognized the need to enhance coordination among the three countries in relation to the ASEAN+3 cooperation. In this context, they reaffirmed to respect the leading role of the ASEAN side in the ASEAN+3 process. They also discussed the need to cooperate with other regional partners.
  6. The Ministers exchanged their views on current regional and international situations including the Korean nuclear issue and the Iraqi issue.
  7. With respect to the next meeting of the Three-Party Committee, the Ministers decided to coordinate the date and venue through the diplomatic channels. They also decided to maintain close coordination and communications among the three countries through meetings at Director-General and other levels as well as the diplomatic channels for making good preparations for the next Trilateral Summit meeting to be held in Lao P.D.R in November, 2004.

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