Japan-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Overview)
Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba held a Japan-China foreign ministers' meeting with Dr. Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 11 on the sidelines of the ASEAN-related Ministers' Meeting, (Japanese officials also in attendance included Mr. Koji Tsuruoka, Director-General of Foreign Policy Bureau, and Mr. Shinsuke Sugiyama, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau. and among other Chinese officials present was Ms. Yang Xiuping, China's Ambassador to Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Mr. Sun Weidong, Deputy Director-General of Department of Asia of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.) An overview of the bilateral meeting is as follows:
1. Japan-China Relations in General Affairs: enhancing mutual trust in political affairs
(1) Both sides welcomed steady progress of specific cooperation and exchanges, such as direct yen-RMB dealing, the "Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs", and maritime communication mechanism between Japan and China's authorities based on the "Six Initiatives" expressed during the visit to China by Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, the Prime Minister of Japan, at the end of last year. Both sides also shared views on the steady implementation of cooperation and exchanges in a wide range of fields, including regional and global issues, in a continuous manner, and to foster momentum toward the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China.
(2) Minister Gemba stated that Prime Minister Noda, as well as he himself, had been saying that the development of China provides opportunities for Japan, that China is a very important partner for Japan, and that, based on such basic recognition, he would like to further deepen the Mutually Beneficial Relationship based on Common Strategic Interests and to proactively develop Japan-China relations in a cooperative manner this year, the 40th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations.
(3) Dr. Yang stated that although there was certain progress in Japan-China relations this year, the 40th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations, it would be necessary to progress Japan-China relations by making efforts to increase mutual political trust and to deepen practical cooperation in every field, while at the same time, appropriately solving various issues between the two countries.
(4) Both sides shared recognition that high-level exchanges are important to increase mutual political trust, and shared views on actively carrying out high-level exchanges in the latter half of this year.
(5) In terms of the Senkaku Islands, Minister Gemba strongly protested against the intrusion of Chinese official vessels into the territorial sea around the Senkaku Islands. Dr. Yang responded in accordance with China's own assertion based on the recent movement concerning the Senkaku Islands. In response, Minister Gemba once again stated the basic stance of Japan on this issue, and added that the China side should keep calm so that the situation surrounding the islands would not affect overall Japan-China relations. Minister Gemba also explained the policy of the Government of Japan to keep peaceful and stable maintenance and control of the Senkaku Islands.
2. Improvement of national sentiments
(1) Both sides shared the recognition that based on the current sentiments of the people of Japan and China, great improvement of such sentiments is required. From such a view point, both parties shared views on accelerating adjustments for the early launch of a "Japan-China People-to-People Exchanges Council", an inter-governmental council to structurally expand and strengthen exchanges between the people of Japan and China.
(2) Both sides shared the recognition that preparations should be fully made for the 4th meeting of the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century, which is scheduled to be held in Tokyo and Nagasaki in late November this year.
(3) Minister Gemba strongly requested for the early resumption of negotiations for the international agreement regarding the development of natural resources in the East China Sea, and for the early relaxation and review of the restrictions on the import of Japanese food products, and on the travel of Chinese citizens to Japan, which also contribute to improving national sentiments. In response, Dr. Yang stated that China's stance on implementing a principle agreement concerning the East China Sea remained unchanged, and that he would like to continue working-level communications. Furthermore, concerning restrictions on the import of Japanese food products from Japan and on the travel of Chinese citizens to Japan, Dr. Yang stated that, with a view to ensure the safety of the people, the Government of China will conduct scientific reviews, and consider Japan's request seriously.
(4) Both sides shared the views that they would make efforts toward early conclusion of the Japan-China Social Security Agreement.
3. Regional and global issues
(1) Promotion of cooperation and dialogue
(B) Minister Gemba stated that he hoped for the early start of the Japan-the US-China dialogue, and Dr. Yang responded that the Government of China had been seriously considering the issue. Furthermore, both sides shared views on closely exchanging opinions about cooperation with the ASEAN, an important partner for both parties.
(2) North Korea
(B) Dr. Yang stated that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula met the common interests of countries concerned nations, and that it would be important for them to continue their efforts toward the resolution of the outstanding issues of concern through dialogue and cooperation, including the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. Dr. Yang also expressed his support for the improvement of Japan-North Korea relations.
(3) South China Sea
(B) In response, Dr. Yang explained the basic stance of the Government of China with regard to the South China Sea issue.
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