Joint Press Communiqué Between the Defense Ministries of China and Japan
(Beijing, 20 March 2009)
I. Pursuant to the agreement reached at the meeting between the defense ministers of China and Japan in August 2007 and the meeting between leaders of the two countries in May 2008, Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada visited China on 20-21 March 2009 at the invitation of Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie. Minister Yasukazu Hamada met with Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and had talks with Minister Liang Guanglie on 20 March. On 21 March, he visited the 196th infantry brigade of Beijing Military Area Command.
II. During the talks, the two sides had an extensive exchange of views on their respective defense policies, the international and regional security situation and bilateral defense exchanges, and agreed to continue to make efforts for regional peace and stability.
Both sides applauded the progress made in bilateral defense exchanges since their defense leaders' meeting in August 2007. The two sides agreed to continue dialogue and strengthen communication and exchanges on their respective defense and foreign policies and the international and regional security situation in accordance with China-Japan Joint Statement on All-round Promotion of Strategic Relationship of Mutual Benefit and Joint Press Communiqué on Boosting Exchanges and Cooperation issued during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Japan in May 2008. This will help boost mutual understanding, mutual trust and friendship between China and Japan.
III. During the talks, the two sides reached the following agreement on major initiatives of bilateral exchange in the future:
1. Continue high-level exchange of visits. To return Minister Hamada's visit to China, Minister Liang Guanglie will pay a visit to Japan in 2009.
2. Hold defense and security consultation between the two defense ministries in Tokyo in 2009.
3. Build on the China-Japan defense and security consultation to strengthen communication between policy departments, exchange views on issues of mutual interest such as international peace keeping, combating natural disasters and anti-piracy, and step up cooperation in information sharing, particularly in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters.
4. To return the visits to Japan by Chinese Air Force Commander, Navy Commander and Deputy Chief of the General Staff since 2008, Japanese Chief of Ground Staff, Chief of Maritime Staff and Chief of Air Staff will visit China respectively before the end of this year or at a time convenient to both sides.
5. Continue consultation to establish at an early date the maritime contact mechanism between the defense ministries of China and Japan. Hold the second round of expert group consultation in Tokyo in the first half of 2009.
6. Continue mutual visits of navy ships on the basis of the first mutual visits conducted respectively in 2007 and 2008. Chinese naval vessels will visit Japan in 2009.
7. Step up consultation at the working level and promote the implementation of the annual defense exchange plan. The two sides will discuss the possibility of inter-service staff officer dialogue involving all services including the Joint Staff of Japan.
8. Explore exchanges between Military Area Commands of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and armies of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.
9. Continue to conduct exchanges between field-grade and company-grade officers under different frameworks.
10. Push forward exchanges between the National Defense University of China and Chinese Academy of Military Science and the National Institute for Defense Studies of Japan, and between Chinese universities like the PLA University of Science and Technology and Dalian Naval Academy of the PLA and the National Defense Academy of Japan. Strengthen exchanges between research and educational institutions of the two sides.
IV. Minister Hamada expressed thanks to Minister Liang Guanglie and the Chinese side for their warm and friendly hospitality.