Outline of Japan-China Economic Partnership Consultation held in Beijing Dec. 19-20, 2006

December 21, 2006

The outline of the Japan-China Economic Partnership Consultation held in Beijing on Dec. 19-20 is as follows.

1. Overall outline

(1) Dates/Chairmen

a. High-Level Meeting on Dec. 20

Japanese Chairman: Mr. Mitoji Yabunaka, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Chinese Chairman: Mr. Chen Jian, Assistant Minister of Commerce

b. Working-Level Meeting on Dec. 19

Japanese Chairman: Shiro Sadoshima, Deputy Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Chinese Chairman: Song Yaoming, Deputy Director-General, Department of Asian Affairs, Ministry of Commerce

c. Expert Meetings on Dec. 19

Representatives of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Justice discussed construction-related issues and legal issues respectively with their Chinese counterparts.

(2) Relevant Ministries and Departments

Japanese side: About 20 officials from the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Fair Trade Commission, Cultural Affairs Agency.

Chinese side: More than 30 officials from the relevant departments of the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Information Industry, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, etc.

(3) Next Meeting

Although there was no explicit discussion concerning the timing of the next meeting, Mr. Chen Jian, Assistant Minister of Commerce, noted that, if possible, he would like to visit Japan in winter. Japanese side will plan to make arrangements with the Chinese side to hold the next working-level meeting by next summer.

2. Evaluation and concrete achievements

(1) Overall atmosphere

Based on the recent favorable turn in the political climate, strong incentives to yield concrete results and accelerate cooperation were observed on both sides at the High-Level Meeting. At the Working-Level Meeting, both sides discussed concrete problems concerning bilateral trade and economic issues and asked for their counterpart's response in a comprehensive manner.

(2) Concrete results

a. There were concrete progress or positive responses from the Chinese side in regard to Japanese requests on a variety of issues, including those linked to the efficiency of the consultation itself (system to exchange requests and responses between the two sides in documents), Japanese cooperation to China for its preparation to join the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and an early start of negotiations on the possible trilateral investment agreement between Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. Also, both sides for the first time had a discussion officially at Japan-China intergovernmental talks about the issue of China's foreign aid. Both sides mentioned the possibility of the mutual cooperation in this area in the future.

b. In the framework of this partnership consultation, Expert Meetings were held for the first time on judicial and construction matters and allowed both sides to deepen their mutual understandings. In the construction area in particular, both sides agreed to start an experts' meeting at the director level in order to discuss various regulations in construction markets in China.

3. Major agendas of Japanese side

(1) Efficiency of the consultation itself
(2) Improvement of investment and business environment in China
(3) Protection of intellectual property rights
(4) Lifting ban on the import of rice and beef of Japan
(5) China's foreign aid and export credit
(6) Joining agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) of China
(7) Energy-saving and environmental cooperation
(8) Possible trilateral investment agreement between Japan, China and the Republic of Korea
(9) Other international issues
(10) Requests from private sectors

4. Major agendas of Chinese side

(1) Energy-saving and environmental cooperation
(2) Cooperation among small- and medium-sized companies
(3) Improvement of the level of technical cooperation
(4) Recognition of market economy status (MES), catch-all controls and positive list
(5) Business environment in Japan
(6) Japan-Taiwan FTA

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