Visit by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to the People's Republic of China
(Overview and Evaluation)
December 30, 2007
1. Overview of schedule of visit (December 27th to 30th)
|December 28th||Talks with Premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao, and also signing ceremony, joint press conference, lunch and speech (Peking University); talks with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo; talks and dinner with President Hu Jintao|
|December 29th||Breakfast meeting hosted by private sector friendship organizations, game of catch with Premier Wen, visit to an elementary school (all in Beijing)
Lunch hosted by the leader of the Chinese Communist Party of Tianjin City, Visit to Binhai New Zone in Tianjin, dinner hosted by the leader of the Chinese Communist Party of Shandong Province
|December 30th||Visit to Kongzimiao temple in Qufu, Shandong Province, Interview with China Central Television (CCTV)|
2. Overview and Evaluation
1) This was a significant visit in that it served to enhance the relations of trust between the leaders of the two countries (It was agreed that President Hu would make a visit to Japan during the cherry blossom season in 2008).
2) Both leaders shared, to certain extent, a recognition of the importance of Japan-China cooperation for Asia and the international society and of the responsibilities the two countries share.
3) It was agreed to bring the concept of a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" into more concrete terms in a broad range of areas.
4) Prime Minister Fukuda's speech at Peking University and interview with CCTV provided him with opportunities to reach out and engage Chinese people directly, including the Chinese youth, across the country.
5) The visit to the birthplace of Confucius provided an opportunity to underline the links that exist between Japan and China in terms of thought and philosophy.
(1) Giving Shape to a "Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests"
The main points of the discussion at the meeting with Premier Wen are as given below. Progress was made towards giving shape to a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests" in many fields, including the environment and energy, youth exchanges, exchanges in the security field, and cooperation in the field of science and technology.
(a) Strengthening Mutually-Beneficial Cooperation
1) Climate Change and the Environment and Energy
Prime Minister Fukuda stressed the need for establishing an effective framework on climate change, in which all major economies participate in a responsible manner, as a duty to future generations and the international society; both leaders agreed to cooperate actively in that respect. Also, using various data Prime Minister Fukuda pointed out that China has a large margin for environmental improvement, and he announced the establishment of the Energy Conservation and Environmental Cooperation Consultation Center, which will disseminate Japanese technology on business basis, as well as the provision of training for 10,000 people in Japan over three years.
2) Intellectual Property Rights
Prime Minister Fukuda requested strengthened cooperation over intellectual property rights and collaboration at provincial level between Japanese companies and relevant Chinese authorities.
Prime Minister Fukuda requested continued consideration regarding the issues related to exports of rice to China.
(b) Promotion of Exchanges and Mutual Understanding
1) Exchanges in the Field of Security
Prime Minister Fukuda announced the dispatch of a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel to China in 2008. Also, Prime Minister Fukuda and Premier Wen agreed on reciprocal mutual visits and exchanges with private-sector by young officers of the People's Liberation Army and the Self-Defense Forces.
2) Youth Exchanges, Intellectual Exchanges, etc.
Prime Minister Fukuda and Premier Wen agreed on exchanges of 4,000 young people a year for four years and reinforcement of intellectual exchanges. Prime Minister Fukuda announced a relaxation of visa requirements for group tourists from China.
3) Prime Minister Fukuda requested cooperation for the establishment of charter flights between Haneda Airport and Beijing Nanyuan Airport. He also expressed his intention to establish a Consulate-General of Japan in Qingdao, once approved by the Diet.
(c) Cooperation in the Region and the International Society
1) North Korea
Prime Minister Fukuda and Premier Wen agreed to cooperate to realize abandonment of North Korea's all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs. Prime Minister Fukuda explained Japan-North Korea relations, including the abduction issue, and Premier Wen announced support for the improvement of Japan-North Korea relations through dialogue.
Both leaders condemned the assassination of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto as an act of terrorism.
3) United Nations (UN) Security Council Reform
Prime Minister Fukuda requested a more positive stance from China. Premier Wen stated that he attached great importance to Japan's position and role within the UN.
(d) The Issue of Resources Development in the East China Sea
Both leaders confirmed that mutual understanding had greatly increased through the discussions that had been held to date, and accordingly, positive developments on concrete measures for resolution of the issue were obtained. At the same time, both leaders shared the determination to settle this issue and agreed to continue discussions aiming at a resolution as early as possible.
(e) History, Taiwan
Premier Wen stated that the issues of history and Taiwan were the political basis of the Japan-China relationship, and expressed his concern over the situation regarding Taiwan. Prime Minister Fukuda stated that it was important to face up history, all the more so were it to be an unfortunate history that one was reluctant to look back to, and that it was his job to ensure that mistakes would not be made in the future, and he asked for the understanding of the Chinese people towards the steps Japan had taken as a peaceful nation. With regard to the Taiwan issue, the Prime Minister indicated that Japan's position is as stated in the Japan-China Joint Communiqué, Japan hopes for a peaceful resolution and can not support any unilateral attempt to change the status quo, and that Japan does not hope for any situation that heighten cross-strait tensions through the holding of the referendum in Taiwan, and if the referendum would lead to the unilateral action to change the status quo, Japan can not support it.
[Joint documents on the agreements]
1) Joint Communiqué on Promotion of Cooperation in the Field of the Environment and Energy
2) Memorandum Relating to Activities of the Japan-China Youth Exchange Friendship Year
3) Joint Statement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Further Strengthening of Scientific and Technical Cooperation Aimed at the Problem of Climate Change
4) Implementing Arrangement between the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan for Cooperation in the Area of Magnetic Fusion Energy Research and Development and Related Fields
5) New Common Recognition by Both Leaders of the Issue of the East China Sea
(2) Building Mutual Trust / Improving Understanding of Japan Among the People of China and Their Sentiments Towards Japan
(a) Prime Minister Fukuda directly conveyed his thoughts on Japan-China relations not only to the leadership of China, but also to regional leaders and the broader sector of the Chinese public, through his speech at Peking University (broadcast nationwide live on Chinese domestic television), and an interview with CCTV (scheduled to be aired on a popular program). Specifically, the Prime Minister spoke of the future for Japan and China as creative partners and what should be done to achieve such a partnership.
(b) Prime Minister Fukuda spent a total of five and a half hours with Premier Wen in a welcome ceremony, formal talks, a signing ceremony, a joint press conference, at a breakfast meeting hosted by private sector friendship organizations and in playing catch; and a total of two hours with President Hu in formal talks and at an extraordinary dinner meeting. These occasions provided an opportunity for close discussions, and considerably strengthened relations of trust at the personal level.
(c) By visiting Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, Prime Minister Fukuda highlighted the long enduring links that exist between Japan and China, and engendered positive sentiments towards Japan among the people of China.
(Outline of Speech at Peking University)
1) There has never been a time in history when Japan and China have had the power to contribute so much to the stability and development of both Asia and the entire world as they do now. Japan and China should become creative partners who establish a bright future for both Asia and the globe.
2) Make 2008, the year in which Japan and China commemorate the 30th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the year in which Japan-China relations experience a dramatic advance forward.
3) Both Japan and China are facing responsibilities and opportunities. The entire world is watching both countries and expecting much from them.
4) Three pillars of a "mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests:" (i) "Mutually beneficial cooperation" (environment, energy conservation, protection of intellectual property rights, etc.); (ii) "Contributions to international society" (climate change, North Korea, reform of the United Nations, Africa, etc.); and (iii) "Mutual understanding and mutual trust" (strengthening of youth and intellectual exchanges, and strengthening exchanges in the area of security).
5) In the future too, the relations between Japan and China may not always follow only a smooth path forward, but it is critical that we avoid being swept up in emotional remarks and take an approach by which we forge our future by aligning Japan-China relations with the trends and larger causes of international society.
6) Japan and China are by no means tied through only interests, but are neighboring countries that have enjoyed a long history of exchange with each other. It is critical for us to both work towards the common values of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy, and to give serious consideration to the common foundation and values that deeply underlie both Japan and China.
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