On June 21, 2004, the China-Japan-ROK Tripartite Committee held the first meeting in Qingdao. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Japanese Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko and ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Ban Ki-moon headed their respective delegations to attend the meeting. Following the meeting, the three foreign ministers issued a joint news statement for the First Meeting of the China-Japan-ROK Tripartite Committee.
The three ministers made the decision about the way of operation for the Tripartite Committee and confirmed that the meeting of the Tripartite Committee would be held at least once a year in the three countries in turn. They jointly confirmed that besides officials of the foreign ministries, those from other departments of the three countries would also attend the meeting of the Tripartite Committee in due course according to the need of the agenda. They agreed that the Tripartite Committee would make its decisions in line with the principle of consensus through consultation. The three ministers also confirmed to consider the model for tripartite cooperation in the future so as to further enhance such cooperation.
The three ministers reviewed the developments of tripartite cooperation, discussed the orientation for future development of such cooperation and decided to jointly formulate "the Action Strategy for Tripartite Cooperation", which will be submitted to the Tripartite Leaders' Meeting at the end of this year. The three ministers expressed their satisfaction with the increasingly close links among the three countries, and appreciated the research on the three-nation Free Trade Area carried out by research institutes of the three countries, indicating that they will continue to focus their attention on the research. They encouraged the tripartite joint research group, which is drafting a research report to be submitted to the Leaders' Meeting, to continue its studies of the arrangement for tripartite investment. The three ministers also stressed the importance of strengthened energy cooperation among the three parties.
While referring to the developments of the current East-Asia regional cooperation, the three foreign ministers discussed relations with other cooperative partners in this region, and stressed the importance of continued cooperation with ASEAN. They maintained that it is necessary for the three countries to strengthen coordination in 10-plus-3 cooperation and reiterated their respect for the leading role played by the ASEAN in 10-plus-3 cooperation. The three ministers explored the necessity of continuing to enhance cooperation with other regional cooperative partners.
The three foreign ministers also exchanged views on current regional and international issues, especially the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Iraqi issue.
The three foreign ministers decided to set the date and place of the next meeting of the Tripartite Committee by means of consultation through diplomatic channels. They decided to keep close consultation through channels at departmental and other levels or through diplomatic channels in a bid to make full preparation for the leaders' meeting of the three countries to be held in Laos in November 2004.
In October 2003, the Tripartite Leaders' Meeting held in the Bali Island, Indonesia issued the historic Joint Declaration, according to which the China-Japan-ROK Tripartite Committee was established. The leaders of the three countries authorized the Tripartite Committee to study, plan and coordinate tripartite cooperation and submit the report on its developments to the annual tripartite leaders' meeting.