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The Eighth Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit

On December 24, 2019, the Eighth Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit meeting was held in Chengdu. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

In their assessment of Current Trilateral Cooperation and Its Future Direction, the three countries shared the opinion on: tackling common issues, such as marine plastic litter; promoting a healthy and active aging society; strengthening people-to-people exchanges, including sports, cultural, and education exchanges; and promoting cooperation between the three countries and others.

Regarding the Korean Peninsula, the three leaders confirmed that the three countries continue to share the position of steadfastly implementing the relevant UNSC resolutions and continuing to maintain the momentum of the process between the U.S. and North Korea. In addition, Prime Minister Abe sought the two leaders’ support and cooperation for the early resolution of the abductions issue and obtained their understanding on Japan’s position.

The three leaders shared the opinion that Japan, China, and the ROK make up a significant share of the world economy’s GDP and trade and investment, and as such, they have and will continue to fulfill a critical role, and that free and fair trade and investment are crucial for the further development of the world economy. Furthermore, the three leaders confirmed that they will continue to make efforts to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial RCEP agreement. The three leaders also shared the view on pursuing a Japan-China-ROK FTA with sufficient added value to RCEP.

Regarding the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” Prime Minister Abe stated as follows:

“Japan seeks to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific based on the rule of law. From this perspective, Japan will pursue synergies between Japan’s initiatives and the ‘ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP)’ adopted by ASEAN, while respecting ASEAN centrality and unity. I look forward to the efforts by China and the ROK to coordinate with the AOIP, while respecting ASEAN centrality and unity.”

Regarding Global Issues, Prime Minister Abe stated as follows:

“At the G20 Osaka Summit and TICAD 7 hosted by Japan, I, as chair, spearheaded efforts to address global issues, including climate change, environment, energy, disaster risk reduction, education, and health. Japan intends to cooperate with China and the ROK on these issues.”

The three leaders then shared the need to actively tackle climate change and environmental issues in particular.