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Economic talks with China make strides

Pool photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun

Foreign Minister Taro Kono, left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday in Beijing.

By Nobuha Endo and Kiyota Higa / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersBEIJING — Japan urged China at bilateral economic talks Sunday in the Chinese capital to take appropriate actions in addressing issues such as the protection of intellectual property rights. Tokyo also effectively reached an agreement with Beijing to conclude, at an early date, an accord necessary for resuming Japanese beef exports to China.

The two nations further agreed to make progress in improving bilateral relations, Japanese officials said, an objective they had agreed to during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to China in October.

This fifth Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue, a forum aimed at discussing a wide range of bilateral economic issues at the ministerial level, took place at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, following similar talks in Tokyo in April last year.

Sunday’s economic dialogue was jointly chaired by Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Besides Kono, five other Cabinet members were present at the meeting, including Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Takamori Yoshikawa.

Themes taken up during the talks included the intensified trade friction between the United States and China. The Japanese participants said they expect the friction to be laid to rest “through dialogue.” They also referred to such pending issues between the United States and China as the coercion of technology transfers from foreign corporations operating in China and the protection of intellectual property rights. China needs to take effective actions in addressing these issues, the Japanese participants were quoted as telling their Chinese counterparts.

Another topic discussed in the meeting concerned projects involving the next-generation communications standard, 5G. China asked Japan to ensure that products manufactured by Chinese telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. are treated “fairly” in Japan. The Japanese government had adopted a plan to exclude from its purchase of communications equipment to be used by its ministries and agencies any corporations about which these government offices might have security-related concerns. During the latest dialogue, Japan told China that the policy does not have any specific companies in mind.

The two countries also agreed, in effect, to reach an accord on animal health and quarantine inspections at an early date, with a view to resuming Japanese beef exports to China. Such exports have been suspended since the outbreak in Japan of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), popularly known as mad cow disease, in 2001.

During the talks, China urged Japan to be actively involved in its Belt and Road Initiative, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Around noon Monday before talks between Kono and Wang, Kono held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Zhongnanhai. Li praised the success of the latest economic dialogue.

“The two nations have been able to further advance China-Japan relations on the right track,” Li said.

Kono responded by saying, “Although there are difficult problems in the Japan-China relationship, Japan wants to continue efforts to properly manage them while also coping with problems of a global scale shoulder-to-shoulder with China.” Speech

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