On July 10-11, the 5th China-Japan CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue was held in Tokyo, Japan. More than 80 Chinese and Japanese business leaders, former senior officials, experts and scholars attended the dialogue, including Zeng Peiyan, Chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges(CCIEE), and Yasuo Fukuda, former Japanese Prime Minister. The representatives of the two sides conducted franks dialogue on the economic situation of China and Japan, and the prospects of the bilateral economic and trade relations. They believe that entrepreneurs from China and Japan should seize the opportunity to open up new areas of cooperation, effectively promote economic and trade exchanges, and inject new vitality into the new stage of the China-Japan relations.
Zeng Peiyan pointed out that the current trade frictions, geopolitical risks and international financial risks highlight the importance of strengthening cooperation between China and Japan. During the meeting between the leaders of China and Japan at the G20 Osaka Summit, an important consensus on building a China-Japan relationship for the new era has been reached, which has created a great political atmosphere for the bilateral economic and trade development in the future. The two countries should jointly resist the protectionist tendency, maintain multilateralism and the free trade system, strive to repair the damaged industrial and supply chain, enhance cooperation within the region, and promote an early agreement on the RCEP and the China-Japan-Korea FTA. He hopes that Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs can seize opportunities brought by the new round of opening up, characterized by the expansion and upgrading of China’s domestic market and the institution-based opening up, strengthen exchanges, discuss cooperation, and bring the China-Japan economic and trade relations to a new level in the new era.
Mr. Fukuda believes that the China-US economic and trade frictions have had a greater impact on Japan, which cannot be ignored. As the world’s second- and third-largest economies, China and Japan should further deepen mutual understanding and solve problems through various dialogues.
The two sides unanimously stated that both China and Japan have entered a new era of development, and have more common interests and concerns than before. The relationship between the two countries faces new opportunities for development. Therefore, they should implement the outcome achieved by the leaders of the two countries at the G20 Osaka Summit as soon as possible, jointly promote the healthy development of the bilateral relations, further deepen the integration of interests between the two countries, and strengthen cooperation in the areas of scientific and technological innovation, intellectual property protection, economic and trade investment, finance, medical care, old-age care, energy conservation, environmental protection, and tourism.
The dialogue covered topics: third-party market cooperation, support for environmental governance and response to an aging society, promotion of innovation and industrial cooperation. At the end of the dialogue, a joint statement was issued. The two sides indicated that they should jointly safeguard and strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system; promote WTO reform to adapt to the changing global economic situation; and further explore and discuss the establishment of a high-level Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the China-Japan-Korea Free Trade Zone, and the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP). The two sides stated that they will follow certain principles when promoting win-win cooperation between different countries, namely, “joint consultation, co-construction, sharing, openness, transparency, fiscal soundness” and so on.
The joint statement further emphasizes that in order to solve the challenges facing the two countries, such as aging and environmental protection, the two sides should build a comprehensive partnership between the government, industry and individuals to promote cooperation in medical care, healthy retirement, energy conservation, and ecological civilization. These efforts will make great contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations. Both sides specifically clarified that during the process of promoting cooperation in the field of innovation, they will implement the “Osaka Declaration on Digital Economy” issued at the G20 Osaka Summit, and jointly improve the rules for data governance to ensure the safe use of data.
In the end, the two sides spoke highly of the high-level dialogue between Chinese and Japanese entrepreneurs, former senior officials on a regular basis, which plays a positive and important role in deepening China-Japan economic relations and promoting communication and understanding.
The China-Japan CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue is sponsored by China Center for International Economic Exchanges and Japan Society for Economic Cooperation and Development. It is a great platform for exchanges between China and Japan and is aimed at enhancing mutual trust and understanding among entrepreneurs of the two countries and earnestly promoting pragmatic cooperation. It strives to provide positive energy to the development of China-Japan relations. The dialogue was launched in November 2015 and takes place alternately in China and Japan, so far, five rounds have been hosted.