Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida Regarding the Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting and the Japan-China Summit Meeting

May 26, 2024

[Provisional translation]


(On the specifics of Prime Minister Kishida's tenth Japan-Republic of Korea bilateral summit meeting with President Yoon)
Earlier today, for about 50 minutes starting at 4:35 PM, we held a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) summit meeting. This is my first visit to the ROK in a year, and this was my first face-to-face meeting with President Yoon since November. We concurred to continue our shuttle diplomacy as well as to proceed on each side with preparations towards next year, when we mark the 60th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-ROK relations.
I expressed my intention to expand the scale of the Japan-ROK youth exchange program (JENESYS) this fiscal year in order to strengthen exchanges among the generation who will carry the future on their shoulders.
Next, with regard to foreign and security policy, Japan and the ROK have been deepening our discussions as partners, and President Yoon and I concurred to continue with various types of dialogues.
Then, regarding the economy, we welcomed the fact that a substantial number of dialogues are taking place and cooperation is intensifying, and we decided to accelerate our cooperation in the fields of hydrogen, ammonia, and other areas. Furthermore, President Yoon and I both welcomed Keidanren's recent announcement of an expansion of the Japan-ROK Future Partnership Fund.
We then had a candid exchange of views on North Korea and concurred that we will work even more closely in Japan-ROK-U.S. cooperation, and President Yoon reiterated his support on the abductions issue. We also welcomed the progress of trilateral cooperation following the outcomes of the Japan-ROK-U.S. summit held last year at Camp David. We moreover reconfirmed our support for a unified Korean Peninsula that is free and at peace, as expressed in the joint statements at that trilateral summit.
Overall, President Yoon and I once again shared a strong will to advance Japan-ROK relations further, and I consider our meeting to have been highly meaningful.
(On how the Japan-China bilateral summit meeting proceeded against a backdrop of Chinese military pressure towards Taiwan and China's embargo against Japanese marine products, including with regard to such issues)
We held a Japan-China bilateral summit meeting for roughly 60 minutes, beginning at 6:15 PM. With regard to our bilateral relations, we confirmed that we will endeavor to make progress on various challenges and issues of concern in line with a broad direction of comprehensively promoting a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests and building constructive and stable Japan-China relations, as President Xi Jinping and I reaffirmed last November.
As for discharging ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) treated water into the ocean, we valued the progress made in bilateral working-level communications, including between Japanese and Chinese experts. I expressed my hope that the monitoring being conducted under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with the participation of interested countries will promote understanding by China and other interested countries. Premier Li and I concurred that in order to resolve the issue, we will accelerate the working-level consultation process, building upon the progress made in our bilateral communications to date.
I once again urged the immediate lifting of import restrictions by the Chinese side on Japanese food products. In addition, I reiterated my serious concerns about issues such as the situation in the East China Sea, including the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands, and the intensification of China’s military activities in areas surrounding Japan, and called for the immediate removal of the buoy installed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). I also expressed serious concerns about the situations in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, among other areas.
As for Taiwan, I stated that Japan is closely monitoring relevant developments including military activities and emphasized that peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is extremely important for the international community, including Japan. I also called for the early release of Japanese nationals detained in China.
I proposed that we move forward in expanding our cooperation and our people-to-people exchanges, taking advantage of the Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue and the Japan-China High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchange Dialogue.
I then stated I want our countries to engage in coordination with a view to resuming Japanese beef exports and expanding our polished rice exports to China.
In this way, after confirming the broad direction of Japan-China relations, Premier Li and I discussed a range of issues of concern. Accordingly, I regard this as having been a highly significant meeting. I look forward to a meaningful exchange of views with my two counterparts at tomorrow's trilateral summit as well.


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