"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Action Plan for Promoting Trilateral Cooperation among the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit

[Place] Fukuoka
[Date] 13 December 2008.
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Since the 1st Trilateral Summit was held by the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea in 1999, cooperation has developed significantly among the three states in terms of quantity and quality. In following, the three countries are now required more than ever to systematically manage a variety of cooperation activities.

In this vein, the "Action Plan" for trilateral cooperation is currently being drawn up. It is based on the "Joint Declaration on the Promotion of Tripartite Cooperation" concluded in 2003, the "Action Strategy on Trilateral Cooperation" drawn in 2004, and the agreement reached by the three leaders in the 8th Summit held in 2007.

The aim of the Action Plan is to present specific plans for cooperation activities in various fields. The progress made in each cooperation activity is examined annually through the Progress Report of the Trilateral Cooperation. The Action Plan is to be drawn up every two to three years by the three countries in rotation.


Political Affairs: Institutionalization and Exchanges in the Political Arena

1.1 Trilateral Summit

Following the 2008 Summit in Japan, which marked the first Trilateral Summit to be held independently from other multilateral meetings, the 2nd and 3rd Trilateral Summits are to be held in China in 2009 and in Korea in 2010 respectively. The purpose of holding these Summits is to advance trilateral cooperation efforts and to firmly establish practices of dialogue among the three countries.

The three countries, through consultations, will seek to continuously hold Trilateral Summit meetings on the occasion of the ASEAN related summit meetings.

1.2 Trilateral Meeting of Foreign Ministers

The purpose of holding the independent Trilateral Foreign Ministers' Meeting is to provide a venue for engaging in policy dialogue, in which the three ministers can freely discuss the issue of promoting their trilateral cooperation efforts. The 1st and 2nd Trilateral Ministers' meetings were held in Korea and Japan in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The 3rd meeting will be held in China in 2009.

In addition, through consultations, the three countries will seek to continuously hold the Tripartite Committee, among the three foreign ministers.

1.3 Trilateral Senior Foreign Officials' Meeting and others

The Trilateral Senior Foreign Officials' Meeting aims to facilitate the strategic exchange of opinions on regional trends and global issues. Another purpose of the Meeting is to assess the progress of cooperative projects and to discuss the future direction of the trilateral cooperation efforts. The Meeting will convene annually.

Also, other working level consultations including Director-Generals and lower-level officials should continue, to prepare for the Trilateral Summit and the Foreign Ministers' Meeting and to promote trilateral cooperation activities.

1.4 Trilateral Cooperation Cyber-Secretariat

In utilizing the 'Cyber-Secretariat', progress made in each cooperation project will be monitored on a real-time basis, so that improvements can be made in the tripartite cooperation efforts, by encouraging areas lacking progress and avoiding project overlaps.

The 'Cyber-Secretariat', officially titled 'TCCS' (Trilateral Cooperation Cyber-Secretariat), is to be launched in 2009. A database has been built, which will keep track of all results from tripartite meetings and consultations including the Trilateral Summit.

The three countries will each appoint an official to be in charge of the TCCS. The official will update any information related to the cooperation activities and will contact his/her counterparts in the other two countries to improve the TCCS operations. The official will continue efforts to improve the TCCS operations.


Economic Affairs: Trade, Investment, Finance, Energy, Logistics, etc.

2.1 Joint Studies on the Trilateral FTA

Joint studies started in 2003 will reach the conclusion phase in year 2008, and further in-depth studies will begin in 2009 by the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC) of China, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP).

2.2 Trilateral Investment Agreement

The three countries will facilitate negotiations to conclude a trilateral agreement for the promotion, facilitation, and protection of investment as soon as possible.

2.3 Business Environment

The three countries formally made public the Action Agenda which explains the current business environment and lists necessary measures that need to be taken in order to facilitate foreign investment among the three countries. The Action Agenda will be implemented and updated.

2.4 Trilateral Energy Cooperation

The three governments will continue their mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of energy, and work together to strengthen regional and global energy security as agreed at the Trilateral Summit Meeting held in 2003.

2.5 Promoting Cooperation in Logistics

The three countries will facilitate trade and promote economic growth among themselves by establishing efficient and seamless international logistics in East Asia.

The three countries will proceed with tasks to achieve the 'Three Goals for Logistics Cooperation among China, Japan and Korea': (1) Create a seamless logistics system, (2) Establish environmentally friendly logistics, and (3) Achieve a balance between secure and efficient logistics.

The 3rd Ministerial Conference on Transport and Logistics will be held in China in 2009. The three governments will hold a working level meeting to develop and discuss specific details concerning the cooperation efforts and will also launch a working level meeting with experts.

The three countries will make further efforts on issues raised in the " China-Japan-Korea Joint Report on Distribution and Logistics," issued every other year based on the view shared at the Economic and Trade Ministers' Meeting. Additionally, the three countries will promote cooperation and will work to increase the efficiency of distribution and logistics.

2.6 Promoting Cooperation in Customs Affairs

The three countries will, on the basis of equity and mutual benefits, further promote customs cooperation by adopting the facilitated customs clearance models, improving the enforcement environment at ports of entry, protecting intellectual property rights on borders, and developing customs capacity, so as to create a sound investment environment and facilitate trade.

A mid-long term action plan will be compiled at the third Tripartite Customs Heads' Meeting to be held in China in 2009, to further customs cooperation among the three countries.

2.7 Trilateral Consultation Mechanisms in Industry Cooperation

The three countries will seek the possibility of establishing a liaison system consisting of contact points in 2009, to promote cooperation in areas of common interest in industries.

2.8 Finance

The three countries will continue to strengthen financial dialogue and cooperation among relevant agencies including the Ministry of Finance, central banks, and financial regulatory authorities, to exert joint efforts for regional financial stability.


Environmental Protection, Science and Technology

3.1 Strengthening Cooperation to launch an East Asia Climate Partnership

The three countries will strengthen their cooperation both to achieve economic growth and to combat climate change at the same time including through trilateral consultations on the possible launching of an East Asia Climate Partnership.

3.2 Strengthening Trilateral Environmental Cooperation on Regional Air Pollution Reduction

Under the framework of the Tripartite Environmental Ministers' Meeting (TEMM), the three countries will strengthen their cooperation to tackle air pollution in the region, by conducting joint researches on monitoring and getting early warnings, and preventing and controlling of dust and sandstorms (DSS).

The annually held 'Tripartite Environment Ministers' Meeting (TEMM)' will assess the progress made, prepare collective measures to address the issue, and strengthen cooperation in the area of environmental education.

3.3 Strengthening Cooperation for Tackling Marine Litter including Cooperation under NOWPAP

The three countries will strive to successfully implement "the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter"(RAP MALI) under the framework of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP), and promote policy dialogues and joint efforts to prevent marine litter.

3.4 Joint Protection and Monitoring of Migratory Birds

The three countries will join efforts to track any connection between migratory birds and the bird flu (AI, Avian Influenza) by gaining a thorough understanding of the trans-territorial movement of migratory birds, and thereby pave a way for the joint protection of the birds. In January 2009, the countries will, on the basis of consensus, simultaneously conduct a census on winter birds to gain baseline data. The three countries will also strengthen research cooperation for the HPAI monitoring of wild birds.

3.5 Enhancing Cooperation on Science and Technology

The three countries shared the view on the importance of finding solutions to common regional issues through science and technology cooperation. In this context, the three countries will hold "the Second Trilateral China-Japan-Korea Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation" in Tokyo in 2009.

3.6 Strengthening Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Cooperation

The three countries will strengthen joint ICT cooperation through further promoting ongoing activities and thereby contribute to the development of ICT in Asia as well as worldwide.


Social &Cultural Affairs: Health and Hygiene, Youth Exchange, Culture, etc.

4.1 Maritime Search and Rescue

The governments will explore the possibility of enhancing trilateral maritime search and rescue (SAR) cooperation on the basis of establishing bilateral SAR cooperation mechanisms.

4.2 Strengthening Cooperation on Health

The 2nd Tripartite Health Ministers Meeting (THMM) between China, Japan and Korea was held in November 2008 in Beijing. The Joint Action Plan signed at the Meeting confirmed the three countries' commitment to close cooperation for pandemic influenza preparedness and response. Based on the Plan, the three countries will actively cooperate in areas such as information sharing.

The three countries will continue to expand their scope of cooperation to other health-related issues. Especially, food safety will be addressed as a formal agenda item in the 3rd THMM, to be held in Japan.

4.3 Trilateral Cooperation Forum

The annually held "Trilateral Cooperation Forum" will be revitalized, which is a consultative body among relevant academic institutes on foreign affairs and security of the three countries. The purpose of the Forum is to exchange views and to make policy proposals on cooperation efforts in various fields. The 2nd and 3rd Forum will be held in China in 2009 and in Japan in 2010 respectively.

4.4 Youth Exchanges

The "China-Japan-Korea Youngsters Friendship Meeting" will be held in Korea in 2009 and in China in 2010 respectively. The "Future Leaders Forum: China-Japan-Korea" will be held in China in 2009.

The three countries will explore the possibility of launching the " China-Japan-Korea Youth Ministry Consultation" to discuss various cooperation projects on trilateral youth exchanges, such as exploring the possibility of implementing the 'trilateral youth card' (a discount card providing privileges to youngsters using transportation, accommodation, and cultural facilities).

4.5 Cultural Shuttle Project

With a view to expanding the current scope of trilateral cultural exchanges, cultural events such as exhibitions, performing arts, and movies will continue to be held with the participation from all three countries in the framework of the China-Japan-Korea Cultural Shuttle Project. It is much anticipated that such events will keep the momentum of the tripartite cultural cooperation alive.

4.6 Sports

The China-Japan-Korea Junior Sports Exchange Meeting will continue with the goal of promoting sports development. The three countries will continue to cooperate on competitive and public sports, sports science and medicine, and anti-doping.

4.7 Tourism

The Trilateral Meeting of Tourism Authorities will continue, with the goal of expanding tourism cooperation among the three countries.

The three countries will cooperate on matters included in the Busan Declaration such as cultural, youth, and sports tourism, the expansion of collaborative cruise lines connecting the three countries' main tourism sites, and joint promotions of Tourism Exhibitions held in other regions.


Cooperation in the International Arena

5.1 Policy Dialogue on Climate Change

The three countries will further continue to cooperate, through Director-General-level meetings, in addressing climate change, including exchanging views on how to reach an equitable and effective post-2012 international climate change arrangement at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

5.2 Trilateral Policy Dialogue on Africa

The three governments agreed to strengthen dialogue and consultation on African affairs with a view to sharing relevant experience and pursuing effective measures to support peace and development in Africa.

The three governments will continue to host, on a rotational basis, the Trilateral Policy Dialogue on Africa which was recently launched in Tokyo.

5.3 Asian Regional Cooperation

The three countries will commit to enhance their cooperation with ASEAN, promote cooperation in East Asia, and support ASEAN as the driving force for cooperation in East Asia.

5.4 Six Party Talks

The three countries shared the view that the Six Party Talks is an important mechanism for maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia at large. They reaffirmed their commitments to realize the goals outlined in the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 of the Six Party Talks.

The three countries will make concerted efforts with other relevant parties to push forward the process of the Six Party Talks.

5.5 UN Reform

The three countries agreed that in order to respond effectively to global threats and challenges, the role of the United Nations should be further strengthened and that they would step up their dialogues to seek co-operation towards early realization of the United Nations reform as mentioned in the outcome document of the 2005 World Summit among others.

5.6 Disarmament and Non-proliferation

The three countries are determined to redouble their efforts to promote the multilateral disarmament process and strengthen the international non-proliferation regime, as well as to maintain the global and regional peace and stability. They call upon the international community to make concerted efforts to this end and contribute to achieving a safer and more secure world free of weapons of mass destruction.