Japan-China Joint Declaration
On Building a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development
26 November 1998
In response to an invitation extended by the Government of Japan, President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China made an official visit to Japan as a State Guest from 25 to 30 November 1998. On the occasion of this historically significant first visit to Japan by a President of the People's Republic of China, President Jiang met with His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, and held an intensive exchange of views with Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on the international situation, regional issues and the overall Japan-China relationship. They attained a broad common view and, based on the success of this visit, declared as follows:
Both sides shared the view that as the world in the post-Cold War era continues to undergo great changes toward the creation of a new international order, further economic globalization is deepening interdependence and security dialogue and cooperation are making constant progress. Peace and development remain major issues facing the human society. It is therefore the common wish of the international community to build a new international political and economic order which is fair and rational, and to strive for a peaceful international environment in the twenty-first century that is even more firmly rooted.
Both sides reaffirmed that the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence, as well as the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, are the basic norms for relations between states.
Both sides positively evaluate the efforts made by the United Nations to preserve world peace and to promote the economic and social development of the world, and believe that the United Nations should play an important role in building and maintaining a new international order. Both sides express support for the reforms of the United Nations including the reform of the Security Council, in order for the United Nations to further embody the common wish and collective will of all Members in its activities and policy decision making process.
Both sides stress the importance of the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, and oppose the proliferation of nuclear weapons in any form whatsoever, and furthermore, strongly call upon the nations concerned to cease all nuclear testing and nuclear arms race, in order to contribute to the peace and stability of the Asian region and the world.
Both sides believe that both Japan and China, as nations influential in the Asian region and the world, bear an important responsibility for preserving peace and promoting development. Both sides will strengthen coordination and cooperation in the areas such as international politics, international economy, and global issues, thus positively contributing to the endeavor for the peace and development of the world aimed at the progress of humanity.
Both sides believe that, after the Cold War, the Asian region has continued to move toward stability and the regional cooperation has deepened further. In addition, both sides are convinced that this region will exert greater influence on international politics, economics and security and will continue to play an important role in the coming century.
Both sides reiterate that it is the unshakable fundamental policy of the two countries to maintain the peace of this region and to promote its development, and that they will not seek hegemony in the Asian region and settle all disputes by peaceful means, without recourse to the use or threat of force.
Both sides expressed their great interest in the current financial crisis in East Asia and the ensuing difficulties for the Asian economy. At the same time, both sides recognize that the economic foundation of this region is sound, and firmly believe that by advancing rational adjustment and reform based on experiences, as well as by enhancing regional and international coordination and cooperation, the economy of Asia will definitely overcome its difficulties and continue to develop. Both sides affirmed that they would positively meet the various challenges that they faced, and would respectively make their utmost efforts toward promoting the economic development of the region.
Both sides believe that stable relations among the major nations of the Asia-Pacific region are extremely important for the peace and stability of this region. Both sides shared the view that they would actively participate in all multilateral activities in this region, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, promote coordination and cooperation, and support all measures for enhancing understanding and strengthening confidence.
Both sides reviewed the bilateral relationship since the normalization of relations between Japan and China, and expressed satisfaction with the remarkable development in all areas, including politics, economics, culture and personnel exchanges. Further,both sides shared the view that under the current situation cooperation between the two countries is growing in importance, and that further strengthening and developing the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries not only serve the fundamental interests of their peoples, but also positively contribute to the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole. Both sides reaffirmed that the Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships for the respective country,deeply recognized the role and responsibility of both countries in achieving peace and development, and expressed their resolve to establish a partnership of friendship and cooperation for peace! and development toward the twenty-first century.
Both sides restated that they will observe the principles of the Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China, issued on 29 September 1972 and the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China, signed on 12 August 1978, and reaffirmed that the above-mentioned documents will continue to be the most important foundation for the bilateral relations.
Both sides are of the view that Japan and China share a history of friendly exchanges spanning more than 2,000 years, as well as a common cultural background, and that it is the common desire of the peoples of the two countries to continue this tradition of friendship and to further develop mutually beneficial cooperation.
Both sides believe that squarely facing the past and correctly understanding history are the important foundation for further developing relations between Japan and China. The Japanese side observes the 1972 Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China and the 15 August 1995 Statement by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious distress and damage that Japan caused to the Chinese people through its aggression against China during a certain period in the past and expressed deep remorse for this. The Chinese side hopes that the Japanese side will learn lessons from the history and adhere to the path of peace and development. Based on this, both sides will develop long-standing relations of friendship.
Both sides shared the view that expanding personnel exchanges between the two countries is extremely important for advancing mutual understanding and enhancing mutual trust.
Both sides confirmed an annual visit by a leader of either country to the other, the establishment of a Tokyo-Beijing hot line between the two Governments, and the further enhancement of personnel exchanges at all levels, in particular among the younger generation who will shoulder the heavy burden of the future development of the two countries.
Both sides shared the view that, based on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, they will formulate long-term, stable, cooperative economic and trade relations, and will further expand cooperation in such areas as high technology, information, environmental protection, agriculture and infrastructure. The Japanese side reiterated that a stable, open and developing China is significant for the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the entire world, and restated its policy of continuing cooperation and assistance for the economic development of China. The Chinese side expressed its gratitude for the economic cooperation extended by Japan to China. The Japanese side reiterated that it will continue to support China's efforts for the early accession to the WTO.
Both sides positively evaluated the beneficial role played by their bilateral security dialogue in increasing mutual understanding, and shared the view that they would further strengthen this dialogue mechanism.
The Japanese side continues to maintain its stand on the Taiwan issue which was set forth in the Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China and reiterates its understanding that there is one China. Japan will continue to maintain its exchanges of private and regional nature with Taiwan.
Both sides affirmed that, based on the principles of the Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China, and following the spirit of seeking common major benefits while setting aside minor differences, they would work to maximize their common interests and minimize their differences, and, through friendly consultations, appropriately handle the issues, differences of opinion and disputes which currently exist and may arise in the future,thereby avoiding any restraint or obstacle to development of friendly relations between the two countries.
Both sides believe that through establishment of a partnership of friendship and cooperation for peace and development, the bilateral relations will enter a new level of development. To this end, a wide range of participation and sustained effort not only of both Governments, but also of the peoples of both countries, is essential. Both sides firmly believe that, if the peoples of both countries, hand-in-hand, thoroughly demonstrate the spirit shown in this Declaration, it will not only contribute to the friendship of the peoples of both countries for generations to come, but also make an important contribution to the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and of the world.
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