Japan-China Foreign Minister's Meeting in Phnom Penh
(Overview)

June 17, 2003

Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi and Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Zhaoxing held foreign ministerial talks for about 50 minutes on June 17 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The following is an overview of the meeting.

1. Japan-China Relations

(1) Overview (Including: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Foreign Minister Li:

  • I was delighted by the success of the Japan-China summit meeting in St. Petersburg at the end of May.
  • The Chinese people are scoring an important victory in the battle against SARS. I thank the Japanese government and the Japanese people for the support they have given.

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • The success of the recent Japan-China summit meeting has great significance for the future of Japan-China relations.
  • I am pleased that the SARS outbreak is subsiding in China. On the other hand, SARS has exerted an economic impact on Asia in general, and Japan will continue to watch the situation closely.

(2) VIP Visits

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • It is important to continue high-level exchanges between Japan and China. When I visited China recently in April, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was invited to visit Japan at an early stage. I am looking forward to the realization of this visit.
  • This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China. Commemorative events are scheduled to be held in August, sponsored by private organizations. It would be very meaningful if Foreign Minister Li were to visit Japan on this occasion. I would like again to invite you to visit Japan.

Foreign Minister Li:

  • Thank you for the invitation to Premier Wen to visit Japan.
  • Thank you also for your invitation to me to visit Japan. I will try to visit Japan in August.
  • At the end of the recent Japan-China summit meeting, there was a proposal to resume reciprocal top-level visits. The Chinese side also has a positive attitude toward this matter. On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, it is important to deepen friendship and cooperation between Japan and China and to build a good atmosphere for reciprocal top-level visits. In particular, in advancing Japan-China relations, we should maintain the ideas of "one China" and "taking history as a mirror, and looking toward the future". I hope that nothing is done to injure the national sentiment in the other country.
  • Together with Foreign Minister Kawaguchi, I want to advance Japan-China relations along with the times and create a new history.

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • Regarding relations with Taiwan, there is no change in the position of the Japanese government of responding in accordance with the Japan-China Joint Communiqué.
  • Regarding the history issue, there is no change from the position stated by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995. Within our history, our two countries have maintained good relations over the last 30 years. This also is the common history of our two countries. I want to promote Japan-China relations on the basis of the three documents [the Japan-China Joint Communiqué, the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, and the Japan-China Joint Declaration].

(3) Various Consultations, Etc.

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • I would like the various consultations that were postponed because of the impact of SARS, such as the Japan-China security dialogue, to be resumed.
  • Regarding the negotiations on international agreement relating to consular affairs, the Japanese side is making preparations to submit a draft. I want to steadily advance the work between our two countries.
  • I also want the New Japan-China Twenty-First Century Friendship Committee to be launched as soon as possible.

Foreign Minister Li:

  • Establishment of the New Japan-China Twenty-First Century Friendship Committee was agreed also at the recent Japan-China summit meeting. I also would like to speed up work on the Chinese side.

(4) Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Project

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • Regarding this matter, if the Japanese Shinkansen system were employed, it would become a symbol of new cooperation between Japan and China. I hope that the Chinese side will continue its positive consideration.

Foreign Minister Li:

  • We place importance on the experience that Japan has accumulated in this field. Regarding this matter, France and Germany are also showing interest. There will be tough competition. Best wishes for Japan's success.

(5) Framework of the Mutual Prior Notification of Ocean Research Activities

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • This framework is important for enhancing the transparency of scientific research activities in the ocean and building mutual relations of trust. It is important to make efforts toward the observance and smooth operation of this framework.

Foreign Minister Li:

  • This framework is extremely important from the perspective of enhancing transparency. I support Foreign Minister Kawaguchi's statement.

2. Situation in North Korea

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • As I stated at the meeting of foreign ministers of Japan, China, and Republic of Korea, I would like to express gratitude again for the efforts and cooperation so far by the Chinese side.
  • The consistent position of the Japanese government on this issue is that it is necessary to achieve a peaceful settlement, not to allow the possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea, and to continue a multilateral dialogue. It is important to clearly indicate this policy to North Korea.

Foreign Minister Li:

  • Regarding this matter, I highly evaluate the fact that Japan and China have common interests and goals. The Chinese side also wants to continue working on North Korea. China supports Japan's playing a role in this matter.

3. Cooperation on the International Arena

(1) 55th Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • Japan extremely regrets the fact that a resolution by antiwhaling countries was adopted at the recent annual meeting of the IWC. Regarding this matter, I thank China for its expression of support for Japan's position. I want to continue cooperation between Japan and China in IWC.

Foreign Minister Li:

  • China has consistently understood Japan's interest regarding the whaling issue.

(2) Election for Nonpermanent Members of U.N. Security Council

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi:

  • Japan is a candidate in the elections for nonpermanent members of the U.N. Security Council in 2004. I wish to ask China for its support.

Foreign Minister Li:

  • The Chinese side would like to positively consider this matter. We support Japan's playing an even more important role on the international arena.

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