The 3rd Meeting of the Fifth 21st Century Committee for China-Japan Friendship Opens in Beijing
On Oct. 23, 2011, the 3rd Meeting of the Fifth 21st Century Committee for China-Japan Friendship opened at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing. The Chinese delegation and the Japanese delegation were respectively headed by Tang Jiaxuan, senior member of China and a former state councilor and Taizo Nishimuro, senior member of Japan and President of Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). They both delivered keynote speeches at the meeting.
Tang reviewed the development course of China-Japan relationship since the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two countries. He summed up four experiences and lessons that should never be forgotten. First, only by taking a broad and long-term view, can the two sides maintain the right direction for the development of bilateral relations. Second, only through win-win cooperation, can China-Japan relations obtain an inexhaustible vigor. China and Japan are the most important trading partners of each other. The two economies are interdependent. This lays a solid foundation for the two countries to build up a strategic relationship of mutual benefit. Third, only by carrying on the friendship, can China-Japan relations sustain. The two countries should inherit and carry forward the traditional friendship and encourage more people, especially the younger generation, to join the undertaking of China-Japan friendship and create a better future for China-Japan relations. Fourth, only by properly handling major sensitive issues, can the two countries maintain the stability in the overall situation of China-Japan relations. The two countries should always take the overall situation of bilateral relations as the priority and adhere to properly and calmly handling related issues through dialogues and consultations, and negotiations according to the related consensus and understanding agreed by the two sides, especially the spirit laid out in the four political documents between China and Japan.
Tang said that 2012 will embrace the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and Japan. This will be a new milestone in the history of bilateral relations and will provide new and significant opportunities for the development of bilateral relations. The two sides should take full advantage of this opportunity and organize a variety of activities to promote substantial progress on exchanges and cooperation in various fields and lay a sound foundation for the long-term development of bilateral relations.
Tang stressed that in order to achieve long-term, healthy and stable development of China-Japan relations, the two sides should focus on promoting two major systematic programs. First, the systematic program for mutual political trust. President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to Japan in 2008 and the two sides issued a fourth political document, which clearly stated that the two countries "are partners and do not constitute a threat to each other" and the two countries will "support each other's peaceful development". The two sides should strengthen dialogues and exchanges between governments, political parties, parliaments and other communities and take practical action to implement this important political consensus. Second, the systematic program for national sentiments. It is the common aspiration of the people to remain friends from generation to generation. The two sides should give full play to such unique advantages as geographical proximity and cultural similarity and actively expand personnel exchanges by mobilizing both governmental and non-governmental resources. The two sides should explore innovative forms of communication and enrich the connotations of such communication. The two sides should work together to create an objective and friendly public opinion environment.
Tang pointed out that on the basis of the two systematic programs, the two sides should carry out mutually beneficial cooperation in five major areas at bilateral, regional and global levels. First, cooperation in green economy. The two sides should actively develop big demo cooperative projects and let them play a leading role in transforming and upgrading bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Second, cooperation in post-disaster reconstruction and disaster prevention and reduction. The two sides should strengthen pragmatic exchanges and cooperation and learn from each other. The two sides should work together to build an effective safety network to effectively and jointly respond to major disasters. Third, cooperation in the integration process of the Asia-Pacific. The two sides should maintain close communication on major issues related to the future pattern of regional cooperation. The two sides should actively engage in regional economic integration and promote regional cooperation along the track of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. The two sides should work together to promote the six-party talks process and the building of peace mechanism in Northeast Asia. Fourth, cooperation in dealing with global issues. The two sides should make full use of the UN, G20, APEC and other multilateral platforms and maintain close communication and cooperation on major global issues. Fifth, cooperation in marine affairs. The two sides should handle the marine-related issues through dialogues and consultations in a prudent and proper manner. The first imperative is to strengthen management and control over maritime crisis and establish a sound maritime crisis management mechanism as early as possible for the prevention of emergencies. The two sides should try to solve problems through cooperation and make the East China Sea and the western Pacific truly become a sea of "peace, friendship and cooperation".
Tang concluded that the Committee, in accordance with the requirements of the leaders, will sum up the experiences and lessons from the development of bilateral relations. The Committee, based on the present and looking into the future, will continue to put forward initiatives and ideas for the constant and in-depth growth of China-Japan strategic relations of mutual benefit for reference of the governments in their decision-making.
Taizo Nishimuro first thanked the Chinese government and people for providing strong support and help after the devastating earthquake in Japan. He said Japan and China enjoy a close relationship. Promoting the strategic relations of mutual benefit will benefit not only Japan and China, but also the region and the international community as a whole. The two sides should take the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations as an opportunity, with new wisdom and creativity, to enhance communication at all levels and expand cooperation in economic, cultural, technological, educational, media, environmental protection and other fields, especially the exchanges between the youths. The two sides should improve national sentiments towards each other, increase mutual political trust and security, and further promote the long-term and stable development of bilateral relations for the benefit of the people.
After the opening ceremony, the meeting entered the first phase. The members from both sides had an in-depth exchange of views on how to take the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to advance pragmatic cooperation and deepen strategic relationship of mutual benefit.
The 21st Century Committee for China-Japan Friendship, an advisory body for the two governments, was established in 1984. It consists of eminent personalities from different communities of the two countries. The Fifth Committee was established in November 2009. In the 3-day meeting, the two sides will have focused discussions around the theme of "reviewing the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations and looking into the long-term development of China-Japan relations".