"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] Video Message by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio on the Occasion of the Seventh Japan-China Business Leader and Former High-Level Government Official Dialogue (Japan-China CEO Summit)

[Date] December 21, 2021
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

I am KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan. I extend my heartfelt congratulations on the Japan-China CEO Summit being held today in such a grand manner. It is regrettable that we could not receive the Chinese participants here in Tokyo, but I am pleased that they are participating by linking Tokyo and Beijing through a virtual format.

I wish to express my respect to the efforts of those in the Japan-China business community, in particular Mr. FUKUDA Yasuo, former Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. TOKURA Masakazu, Chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), and Mr. Zeng Peiyan, Chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

Former Prime Minister Ohira, who played a key role in the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, said immediately after the normalization of diplomatic relations 50 years ago that Japan and China are countries that seem close and are yet remote, likening the relationship to that of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. He also stated that when countries associate with each other, it is essential to have rules and a spirit of fair play, and that each must mutually value that mindset. I feel very keenly that these words hold great significance even now.

Japan-China relations are becoming increasingly important not only for our two nations but also for the region and the entire international community. Alongside this we find rising expectations towards both Japan and China, and we must work together to tackle common issues as responsible powers.

I held telephone talks with President Xi Jinping immediately after I assumed office. I candidly raised outstanding issues of concern between our two countries and conveyed my desire to engage in ongoing dialogue going forward, regarding these issues and more. Moreover, President Xi and I agreed to cooperate regarding various issues our countries face in common.

Based on this approach, I said that together we must build up constructive and stable bilateral relations, taking next year, the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, as an opportunity. President Xi concurred and expressed his eagerness to develop our bilateral relations. President Xi and I also agreed that we will support economic and interpersonal exchanges between our two countries.

While the importance of the economy within Japan-China relations goes without saying, as we deepen our bilateral economic relations further, it is essential for the Chinese market to open up and for a fair and just business environment to be created, including by strengthening intellectual property protection and redressing forced technology transfers and distorted industrial subsidies.

The Japan-China CEO Summit, where business community leaders from Japan and China engage in direct discussions, is well-timed indeed, and the direction of the Summit itself is shared by President Xi and myself as well. I am certain you have a wide range of points to raise with each other, and I hope this is a venue for you to develop further cooperation with each other by engaging in frank discussions with each other and overcoming any challenges you face.

I have heard that today your discussions will also encompass regional and international topics, such as climate change and regional economic partnerships.

Within the international community, climate change is a matter of urgency that must be resolved without fail. At the same time, climate change is a tremendous growth opportunity giving rise to new consumption and new markets. I very much look forward to lively discussions about economic exchanges in which the business circles of Japan and China act in cooperation to boldly take on the challenges of new businesses in the area of “green” and create an economic virtuous cycle while contributing to the international community.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or “RCEP,” will enter into force on January 1. In order to have you in the business world feel its effects in tangible ways, steady implementation will be essential, including compliance with RCEP obligations by the participating countries. Japan pledges to advance efforts to build a free and fair economic order, under my leadership, with a view to further enhancing the vitality of the regional economy and global economy. I expect that China will also press forward with reforms to its business environment and make greater efforts for the sake of the world economy and global corporations.

The world is paying close attention to the movements of you leaders in the business circles of Japan and China, the second- and third-largest economic powers on the globe. Although there are currently limitations on travel between our countries because of COVID-19, we must not allow business exchanges between Japan and China to dwindle off. I will end my remarks with my wish that exchanges between our countries' business circles are advanced even further, taking today's discussions as a springboard.

Thank you very much.