Joint Press Conference
Note: The opening statements by Premier Wen Jiabao and President Lee Myung-bak have been translated into English from the Japanese transcript. As such, they may vary slightly from the phrasing used in the original languages.
Ministerial-level talks for Japan-China-ROK cooperation are being held in over ten fields, and I am heartened by the progress being made in trilateral cooperation. This, I believe, is a positive development not only for our three countries in promoting mutual understanding and building "win-win" relationships but also for the East Asian region as a whole.
Another outstanding achievement during our meeting here was the announcement of Trilateral Cooperation VISION 2020 and other documents charting the direction of future cooperation. We also issued a memorandum on the establishment of a standing secretariat to promote trilateral cooperation. President Lee's expert handling of the proceedings has earned my renewed respect.
Under the concept of an East Asian Community which I have been proposing, Japan intends to take concrete measures in the fields of economic partnerships and exchanges among people. We hope to cooperate and coordinate closely with China and the ROK.
As for trilateral cooperation, I raised points regarding such issues as trade and investment, academic exchanges and the environment. An early substantive agreement on a Japan-China-ROK trilateral investment agreement and the steady implementation of a joint study on a tripartite free-trade agreement among industry, government and academia would be positive developments in advancing trilateral cooperation. Concrete deliberations by a panel of experts on a credit transfer system under the CAMPUS [Collective Action for Mobility Programme of University Students] Asia project are highly welcome developments in promoting exchange among our universities.
We also discussed issues pertaining to the regional and international situation and exchanged views regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula, climate change, disarmament and non-proliferation as well as United Nations reform. I believe that our three countries now recognise that the sinking of the ROK Naval patrol vessel, which I referred to at the outset, is a serious matter for peace and stability in Northeast Asia. We confirmed that our three countries will pursue close coordination, and discussions would continue when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits Japan following this meeting. The final agreement reached at the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was also a highly welcome development. I should like our three countries to continue their cooperation in pursuit of a nuclear-free world.
Japan will host next year's Trilateral Summit. I hope to begin preparing for the meeting so that we may strengthen our coordination with the ROK and China and further advance our cooperation.
Lastly, I reiterate my appreciation for the leadership provided by President Lee and for the warm hospitality shown by the Korean people.
I am honoured to have been able to attend the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting along with President Lee and Prime Minister Hatoyama. I am very grateful to President Lee and the ROK government for arranging this superb meeting and for the warm hospitality I have received.
Trilateral cooperation has advanced over the past 10 years, and the summit mechanism has played a role in guiding the cooperative relationship among our three countries. Two years ago, the first Trilateral Summit Meeting independent of the summits organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was hosted by Japan, and this process has since been solidifying the tripartite partnership.
Last year, we celebrated the tenth anniversary of trilateral cooperation and presented a roadmap for our future course. This third Trilateral Summit Meeting is being held at a time when we are heading into the next decade, and we issued four statements outlining prospects for trilateral cooperation in a broad range of fields. I am extremely encouraged by the fact that these statements will guide our efforts to build an East Asian Community together. Trilateral cooperation has advanced because it has engendered a wide range of shared benefits; and it is built on our three countries having endured many difficult challenges by working and acting in concert.
Our three countries now confront new challenges as we cope with the severe economic situation in Asia and the complex nature of regional relations. Amidst such difficulties, I hope the three countries would be able to communicate yet more closely and to cope with the sensitive issue(s) in Northeast Asia. With regard to our trilateral cooperation, unless we utilise the progress achieved thus far as a stepping stone on which to continue our efforts for East Asian peace and stability, we will be unable to advance this cooperation further, and the achievements made to date will in vain. In the near term we must deal with the Cheonan incident in an appropriate manner. We must ease tensions and avoid a military confrontation. I hope to promote trilateral cooperation that will contribute to stability and peace, as well as to the common interests of our three countries.
Japan, China and the ROK are major powers in terms of economic output and trade, and their industrial structures continue to develop. I hope we can achieve further development by promoting green growth, a recycling-oriented economy and technological innovation. I hope we can expand benefits for each of our three countries by combining our strengths to resolve common issues and achieve fast growth, and by expanding personal and cultural exchanges. It is important to recognise that the efforts and knowledge of private individuals and society at large have been key factors in promoting trilateral cooperation, and that further advances will require adherence to the principles of fraternity, tolerance and harmony. I took part in this third Trilateral Summit Meeting in the ROK believing in peace, friendship and cooperation, and I will now be visiting Japan upon the invitation of Prime Minister Hatoyama. I am convinced that the spirit of building "win-win" relationships and the principle of mutual benefit are the only correct path to follow so far as trilateral cooperation is concerned, and I am firmly resolved to promoting cooperation in this belief.
I am extremely grateful to Prime Minister Hatoyama for making the effort to visit Daejeon [cemetery for the victims of the Cheonan incident] and for participating in this summit meeting in Jeju despite this being a very busy time.
Premier Wen Jiabao also made time in his busy schedule for this trilateral summit, spending two nights and three days in the Republic of Korea for what I believe is the first time. As a result, I was able to have an extensive exchange of views with [the leaders of] both Japan and China during bilateral talks.
Both leaders extended condolences and support for the Republic of Korea on the Cheonan situation, for which I am extremely grateful.
The Cheonan situation is one of the most pressing challenges now facing the international community. I believe we need to go through the necessary and sound procedures on this issue, in order to accomplish our ultimate aim of bringing peace and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula. I believe that the leaders of Japan and China essentially share the same view concerning this challenge.
I am anticipating eminently well-considered cooperation from China and Japan concerning the response to this issue, as they are highly responsible members of the international community. We share the common goal of bringing peace and peaceful unification to the Korean Peninsula by moving together through the difficult historical process through such cooperation.
I am extremely grateful to both of them for their pledges of positive understanding and cooperation.
We were able to reach unanimous agreement on the scheduled items on the agenda. Additionally, many good topics were suggested by both China and Japan. In the future I intend to take a look at these matters in a practical manner.
A particular achievement of this summit was the launch of the Trilateral Cooperation VISION 2020 plan. As part of this process, in response to the nuclear issues confronting us, Prime Minister Hatoyama proposed a target of working to build a world without nuclear weapons. This proposal was prompted in particular by the agreements reached at the NPT Review Conference.
At this meeting, Mr Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Premier spoke for the first time with great clarity on China's external nuclear policy as a nuclear-weapon state. We are very grateful to him as this was informative and helpful.
I will now move on to my report. In 1999, our three countries held a trilateral meeting on the occasion of the ASEAN+3 Summit. Ten years have passed since then, and this year marks the beginning of a new decade. With a view to assessing achievements made so far and discussing in greater depth the direction our cooperation should take in the future, a decision was taken to prolong the summit from a one-day to a two-day meeting.
This year, a joint folk music concert featured performers from each of the three countries, and a ceremony was held to lay a time capsule containing letters contributed by children.
In addition, leading economic figures from the three countries met for a forum today, and will meet the three leaders later today.
As discussed at our previous meeting in Beijing, workshops by young researchers in the sciences are currently being held in Jeju. Though such diverse events, I believe this summit has helped to enhance substantive cooperation among our three countries.
I think it is safe to say that this summit meeting in Jeju has provided the solid groundwork for cooperation among and development of our three countries in the future.
There was also discussion on the subject of even closer cooperation and the possibility of a community consisting of our three countries. Moving towards a community will take a long time, and will not be easy. If we work tirelessly together, however, I believe we will achieve our goal one day - even if it takes until the next generation. Therefore this is an issue which will need to be discussed ceaselessly among the leaders of our countries.
This was the third trilateral summit meeting among Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, following meetings in Fukuoka in December 2008 and in Beijing in October 2009. I believe that the summit has now been established as a regular event, something which I believe will be of great significance.
At this summit meeting, we three leaders carried out a very deep, constructive exchange of opinions on trilateral measures for cooperation and development and on regional and international issues including the recent Northeast Asian situation and the G20 summit.
We three leaders shared the recognition that this summit was all the more meaningful for marking the beginning of a new decade of trilateral cooperation, and we agreed that the continued development of trilateral cooperation would be important for the prosperity of ROK, Japan and China, of course, but also for the peace, stability and common prosperity of the region and the world.
Based on this recognition, we three leaders adopted "Trilateral Cooperation VISION 2020", which was built on the results so far achieved and which sets forth a blueprint and vision for the next ten years of trilateral cooperation. Furthermore, we agreed to establish a Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat in the ROK in 2011 in order to provide more effective, systematic support for our trilateral cooperation.
We also adopted a Joint Statement on Standards Cooperation, with the aim of eliminating technical barriers and promoting cooperation in setting [international technical] standards, and a Joint Statement on Strengthening Science and Innovation Cooperation with the purpose of bolstering cooperation in scientific and technological fields.
In addition, we viewed positively the launch in May this year of the Joint Study for a trilateral FTA, which is being conducted among representatives of industry, the government and academia of the three countries. We decided to work together to enable the smooth implementation of this joint research with the aim of completing it in 2012, in order to promote regional economic integration in addition to strengthening the three-way cooperative relationship. We also agreed to make every possible effort towards reaching a substantive agreement within a few months on the early conclusion of a trilateral investment agreement.
We three leaders exchanged views on the 26 March sinking of the ROK Naval patrol vessel Cheonan. The leaders of Japan and China expressed their condolences on the victims of the Cheonan sinking and their sympathies to the bereaved families and the people of the ROK. The leaders of Japan and China attached considerable importance to the joint investigation of the incident carried out by the ROK and the international investigation team and to the reactions of various countries. The three leaders agreed to continue consultations for the purpose of maintaining regional peace and stability and to address this issue as appropriate.
We recognised that a denuclearised Korean Peninsula would contribute greatly to the lasting peace, security and economic prosperity of Northeast Asia. Towards this end, we agreed to continue cooperative efforts over the longer term through the process of the Six-Party Talks in order to achieve the goals laid out in the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six-Party Talks.
For the sake of sustainable, balanced growth for the global economy, we agreed to cooperate closely to ensure the success of the G20 Summit to be held in Seoul and the APEC Summit to take place in Yokohama in November this year.
We three leaders hope that today's meeting will serve as the cornerstone for a new decade of substantive development in trilateral cooperation. We agreed to meet again in Japan next year for the Fourth Trilateral Summit Meeting.
Thus far I have presented the content of our agreements at today's trilateral summit meeting. On behalf of the people of the ROK, let me once again express my gratitude to Prime Minister Hatoyama and Premier Wen, and to the members of the their respective delegations, for visiting the ROK and to this beautiful island of Jeju. May you return home with pleasant memories of your stay.
It is my hope that we will continue to work hand-in-hand for the sake of the prosperity of our three nations and the peace and prosperity of Asia as a whole. Thank you very much.