(Sankei: January 19, 2016 – p. 1)
Japan and China are working to resume the first high-level economic dialogue in five and a half years this month in Tokyo, a source familiar with the matter revealed on Jan. 18. A Chinese vice premier will participate in the talks. The two countries plan to strengthen political dialogue to ensure economic stability in East Asia. On the sidelines of the economic consultations, the foreign ministers of the two countries are also expected to meet to discuss sanctions on North Korea and China’s gas development in the East China Sea.
Japan will send Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Motoo Hayashi to the talks. From China, in addition to a vice premier, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, who chairs the Board of Governors at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, are scheduled to participate.
With the uncertainty over the Chinese economy growing, the participants will discuss concerted efforts to ensure the stability of the global economy. They will also consult bilateral cooperation over climate change and environmental challenges and a free trade mechanism among Japan, China and South Korea. The distribution of goods will also be discussed in an effort to increase Japan’s exports of farm produce.
Japan and China are expected to discuss resuming a currency swap agreement that the Bank of Japan and the People’s Bank of China have been negotiating, and exchange opinions on the AIIB.
The bilateral high-level economic dialogue has been suspended since August 2010 due to strained ties over the Senkaku Islands and history issues.
If the meeting is realized, it will be held for the first time since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping took office. Abe is expected to hold a meeting with the Chinese vice premier who participates in the talks. (Slightly abridged)