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Caption: China's Premier Wen Jiabao, Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan and ROK's President Lee Myung-bak attend a joint press conference after the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit, May 22.

Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit


Prime Minister Kan and Premier Wen meet with disaster victims at an evacuation center.
The Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit was held in Tokyo on May 21 and 22. The Summit has been held annually since 2008, this being the fourth Trilateral Summit. Japan also hosted the first summit.

Prior to the summit, on May 21, China's Premier Wen Jiabao and ROK's President Lee Myung-bak paid separate visits to the area struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Both gave flower offerings in tsunami-devastated Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, and then met with people living at an evacuation center to encourage them.

The two leaders later joined Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Fukushima City, where together they visited a shelter for residents evacuated from the area affected by TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. After eating cherries and vegetables grown in Fukushima Prefecture, they went around the shelter to give encouragement to the victims.

The following day, May 22, the three heads of state held their summit at the State Guest House in Tokyo.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Kan expressed his gratitude to China and ROK for their support and expressions of solidarity in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. He thanked Premier Wen and President Lee in particular for including in their tight schedules visits to the disaster-affected areas and shelters in Sendai and Fukushima, pointing out how doing so helped show those at home and abroad that these areas and Japan as a whole are safe.

Then, Prime Minister Kan explained his outlook, that there was downward pressure on the Japanese economy in the short term, but that the economy would be back on course for recovery later this year. He explained that he saw the earthquake as an opportunity to recover from the "crisis within a crisis" and revitalize Japan as a vigorous society, and expressed his will to address recovery by incorporating vitality from other countries.

Prime Minister Kan and President Lee share a laugh with a young family at an evacuation center.
After their meeting, the Summit Declaration and three Annexes—Cooperation on Nuclear Safety, Cooperation toward Sustainable Growth through Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and Cooperation on Disaster Management—were issued.

The Japan-China-ROK Summit Declaration states that the three leaders shared the will to further strengthen the future-oriented comprehensive cooperative partnership, and shared the importance of helping each other, especially at times of disaster and adversity.

In addition, regarding disaster management and nuclear safety, it included statements that Japan is committed to sharing with China, ROK and the international community at large the lessons learned from the nuclear accident and the earthquake, and that they agreed to strengthen the trilateral cooperation in disaster management and nuclear safety.

Moreover, the Summit Declaration states that the three countries shared the view that it is important to promote renewable energy use and enhance energy efficiency toward sustainable growth. Commitments to construct a trilateral cooperative framework regarding such areas as economic growth, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and the environment and sustainable development were also included.

Bilateral Meetings

On May 22, Prime Minister Kan held individual meetings with Premier Wen and President Lee. In the Japan-China summit meeting, the leaders agreed to promote cooperation for reconstruction assistance and tourism promotion in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Cooperation includes sending missions (a mission consisting of tourism-related industries and a mission aiming at promoting trade, investment and reconstruction assistance) from China to Japan, measures for increasing the export of agricultural and other products from Japan and promoting people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

At the Japan-ROK summit meeting, Prime Minister Naoto Kan and President Lee Myung-Bak agreed on the Japan-ROK Nuclear Safety Initiative, which includes cooperation in the international arena regarding nuclear safety and enhancement of the exchange of information during normal times. They also issued the Japan-ROK Partnership for Tohoku Recovery and Tourism, which contains support for the rebuilding of Tohoku and cooperation toward the revitalization of tourism.