China-Japan-South Korea Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting creates opportunities to discuss issues of common concern: Japan FM

By Sun Haoran Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/22 16:33:40

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (center) speaks next to South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha(left) and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at a press conference after the ninth trilateral foreign ministers' meeting held in Beijing on Wednesday (See story on Page 4). Photo: AFP

The spokesperson of the Japanese Embassy to China Jun Saito said Wednesday that Japan is "very satisfied" with the 9th China-Japan-South Korea Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and believed that the meeting created opportunities for the three countries to discuss issues, such as economic corporation and Japan-South Korea frictions.

Saito remarked at a press briefing held at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing after the trilateral meeting was held in the capital city of China on Wednesday. He noted that Japan is looking forward to the successful convening of the 8th China-Japan-South Korea Trilateral Summit.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono reiterated the importance of the relations among the three countries at the trilateral meeting, and specifically mentioned the significance of non-governmental exchanges, said Saito, adding that Japanese government will continue to promote active people to people exchanges. 

Saito also revealed that the three foreign ministers had a working lunch together, but could not disclose the details.

According to the official website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the trilateral meeting that the three countries should safeguard free trade, build an open world economy, play important roles in the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations within 2019, and promote substantive progress in the China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

In response to the question of whether the deteriorating Japan-South Korea relations would hinder to the economic and trade cooperation among the three countries, Saito told the Global Times that bilateral relations should not muddle in the trilateral relationship, adding that even if Japan-South Korea relations are facing difficulties at this stage, they should continue to promote cooperation among the three countries.

The Chinese side also said at the meeting that the three parties should also implement the consensus of the leaders' meeting, plan for common development, promote the cooperation of "China-Japan-South Korea + X", and co-construct the Belt and Road Initiative with high quality. 

Saito said that Japan agrees with the "China-Japan-South Korea + X" cooperation proposed by the Chinese side, and noted that the Japanese side currently has no specific ideas on which country can be the "X" and the issue should be decided on the basis of joint discussions.

During the introduction of the China-Japan bilateral talks, Saito said that Kono arrived in Beijing on Tuesday evening and had a 45-minute talk with the Chinese side, and the two sides exchanged views on topics such as bilateral relations, economic and trade cooperation, and people to people exchanges.

Kono stated at the bilateral meeting that China and Japan have great potential in economic and trade cooperation, and it will grow in the future, said Saito.

As for the bilateral talks between Japan and South Korea, Saito said that the talks lasted about 40 minutes and Kono urged the Korean government to guarantee the safety of Japanese people in Korea in response to recent South Korean boycotts of Japanese goods and anti-Japanese demonstrations, but stressed that "the Japanese-Korean people to people exchanges should not be interrupted" at the same time.

The 9th China-Japan-South Korea Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held three years after 2016, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry has previously stated that this meeting coincides with the 20th anniversary of the cooperation among the three countries and is of great significance.

blog comments powered by Disqus