Meeting Between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and
Premier Zhu Rongji of the People's Republic of China on the Occasion of the ASEM Summit Meeting
On 22 September Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi met with Premier Zhu Rongji of the People's Republic of China. The following is a summary of the meeting.
1. Japan-China Relations
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi stated as follows:
a) This is the year of the 30th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China relations and I am pleased to see that vigorous exchange activities are going on between the two countries. In particular, in spring this year 5,000 Chinese nationals visited Japan and made goodwill visits around the country, and 10,000 Japanese nationals are now visiting China and engaging in various activities and exchanges at every level and sector of society. In addition, recently Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi paid a visit to China and engaged in an important exchange of opinions.
b) I would like to see Japan-China cooperation further strengthened not only concerning the bilateral issues, but also concerning regional and global issues, and further enhance bilateral relations based on the policy which I stated at the Boao Forum for Asia in April saying that "the economic development of China will not be a threat."
(2) Premier Zhu responded as follows:
a) I am very pleased to meet you (Prime Minister Koizumi) again, following the Boao Forum for Asia.
b) On 22 September in the People's Congress Hall 10,000 people gathered to engage in an exchange ceremony. At that ceremony President Jiang Zemin delivered an important speech, and this was an important event in the process of Japan-China friendship.
c) I hope that Japan-China relations will further deepen, and I am grateful for your comments at the Boao Forum for Asia (c.f. "the economic development of China will not be a threat.").
d) In Japan-China economic relations, although there has been some friction concerning trade in agricultural products, I would like to see the issue resolved through friendly discussions.
(3) Premier Zhu further stated as follows:
a) Last year, you (Prime Minister Koizumi) visited the Marco Polo Bridge, and on 15 August this year delivered a statement on history (Note: this is thought to be a reference to Prime Minister Koizumi's address at the Ceremony to pay tribute to the memory of the War Dead.). China's response to these actions was a good one.
b) At the same time, China would like Japan to understand the importance of historical issues. President Jiang in his important speech of 22 September also said "taking history as the mirror and looking toward the future."
(4) In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated as follows:
a) In relations between our two countries, it is important to look at the past squarely and resolve the present issues, and to continue towards better relations in the future. This year is the 30th anniversary of the normalization of relations and I would like to strengthen our cooperation concerning regional and global issues in addition to bilateral issues.
2. Situation on the Korean Peninsula
(1) Premier Zhu stated as follows:
a) I would like to congratulate you (Prime Minister Koizumi) on the results of your visit to North Korea.
b) China supports North-South dialogue and peaceful reunification of the two sides. At the same time, China supports the dialogue of Japan and the U.S. with North Korea. I would like to praise your visit to North Korea as an important diplomatic action.
(2) Prime Minister Koizumi responded as follows:
a) I am grateful for the support and welcome I received from the Government of China before and after my visit to North Korea.
b) This was the first visit for a Japanese Prime Minister to North Korea and I talked with Chairman of the National Defense Commission Kim Jong Il. The improvement of Japan-North Korea relations is not only the issue between Japan and North Korea, but also the issue in which the United States, China, the ROK and the Russian Federation all have a great interest.
c) In addition to continually working on the abduction issue, I am seeking to reopen negotiations in October on a series of issues in line with the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration. I told Chairman Kim that, "It is most important for north Korea to become a member of the international community. Cooperation with the international community is of benefit to North Korea. Improvement in Japan-North Korea relations is also of benefit to the region and the world." North Korea has announced that it will abide by international agreements concerning issues of nuclear weapons and missiles.
d) I think it is important for China, which enjoys friendly relations with North Korea, to call on North Korea to seek a way to international cooperation.
(3) Premier Zhu stated as follows:
a) China has taken your visit to North Korea very positively. We hope for reconciliation between North and South as well as progress in the dialogue between North Korea and Japan and the United States.
b) China will promote peace, reconciliation and unification between North and South and dialogue with North Korea and related countries.
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