BEIJING — Economic and trade ties between China and Japan are expected to get a boost after the ups and downs of recent years as Premier Li Keqiang has arrived in Tokyo for an official visit.
His visit is the first in eight years by a Chinese premier, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two countries.
The two economies are highly complementary, with bilateral ties showing momentum for improvement, said the Premier, who is also in Japan for the 7th China-Japan-South Korea leaders’ meeting.
The following are some facts and figures on China-Japan economic and trade relations:
— China is Japan’s second-largest trade partner, while Japan is among China’s top five largest partners. Statistics from China’s Ministry of Commerce showed that in 2017, bilateral goods trade rose 9.9 percent to $297.28 billion, reversing a downward trend since 2012.
— Chinese exports to Japan increased 5 percent to $164.42 billion in 2017, while imports from Japan grew at a faster rate of 16.7 percent to $132.86 billion, resulting in a smaller surplus of $31.57 billion, down 26.1 percent from the 2016 level.
— In the first quarter of 2018, bilateral trade between the two countries rose 10.1 percent year on year to $76.4 billion, with the China-Japan trade surplus down 14.9 percent to 8.31 billion dollars.
— Major Japanese export items to China include electric-mechanical products, chemical products and transportation equipment, while China mostly exports electric-mechanical products, textiles, furniture and toys to Japan.
— Japan’s direct investment to China totaled $3.27 billion in 2017, up from $3.11 billion in 2016.
— In the first seven months of 2017, China’s direct investment to Japan grew 15.9 percent year on year to $183.57 million. Chinese investment in new businesses such as cross-border e-commerce and mobile payment is rapidly increasing in Japan.
— Tourists from China’s mainland made more than 7.3 million trips to Japan in 2017, up 15 percent from 2016. They contributed 38.4 percent of the total tourist spending in Japan, the highest among all countries and regions.
— China is one of Japan’s largest foreign automobile markets. In 2017, sales by Japanese carmakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda in the Chinese market all hit record highs. Nissan reported a 12.2-percent rise in sales to more than 1.52 million units last year, while Honda sold more than 1.44 million cars, up 15.5 percent year on year.
— The two countries, together with the Republic of Korea, are working on establishing a trilateral free trade zone, as well as negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, to strengthen regional development and facilitate free trade.