Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Tokyo on May 8 to attend the seventh China-Japan-Republic of Korea leaders’ meeting and pay an official visit to Japan.
It’s been eight years since a Chinese premier has visited Japan and two and a half years since the latest such trilateral meeting in Seoul in 2015.
Premier Li, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Republic of Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet on May 9. The three leaders will deliver speeches and meet with reporters at the opening ceremony of a China-Japan-ROK business summit.
After the meeting, Premier Li also will make an official visit to Japan. He is scheduled to have talks with Abe on May 9 and meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito later this week. He also will visit the Japanese island province of Hokkaido before heading back to Beijing.
The three countries have shared a responsibility to safeguard economic globalization, trade liberalization and investment facilitation, and the meeting is expected to strengthen political trust and contribute to regional peace and prosperity, Premier Li said on his arrival.
“My visit is to boost a long-term, healthy development of China-Japan ties,” Premier Li wrote in a signed article published by the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun on May 8.
As the world’s second- and third-largest economies, China and Japan should put their ties back on the right track, which will bring benefits to both peoples and promote peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the world, he said.
History has shown that bilateral ties will see smooth development only when the principles and spirit of four political documents, including the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, are firmly complied with, the premier said.
As the world’s largest developing country, China sees development as the top priority, Premier Li said. The development of both countries and the region needs a peaceful environment, he said.
“During my visit, we will witness the signing of a number of agreements in areas such as healthcare, medical sciences and the sharing economy,” Premier Li said.
The two countries will sign a cooperative document to expand exchanges of renminbi and yen, and more renminbi qualified foreign institutional investors quotas will be given to Japanese investors, he added.
China, Japan and the ROK, as major economies in Asia, have promoted exchanges in fields such as transportation, culture, education, healthcare and disaster management.
They have had 13 rounds of free trade agreement negotiations and signed an investment agreement. Last year, trade between the three countries hit $670 billion.
The three neighbors have benefited from an open world economy, and these countries should accelerate construction of a free-trade zone and promote substantial moves for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and safeguard free trade and the rule-based multilateral trading system, Premier Li said in the article.