The 37th Policy Plenary Meeting of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC) was held on January 19 at the conference room of the Japan Forum on International Relations, to discuss "Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit, ASEAN+3 Summit and East Asia Summit." Mr. KOHARA Masahiro, Deputy Director-General of Asia and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, made keynote report, which was followed by an active exchange of views among Members of CEAC. Mr. KOHARA stated as follows:
The Second Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit, the 12th ASEAN+3 Summit and the 4th East Asia Summit ware held in last October. At the Second Trilateral Summit, "Joint Statement on the Tenth Anniversary of Trilateral Cooperation among the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea" was released.
The Joint Statement says that "The three countries remained committed to the development of an East Asia community based on the principles of openness, transparency, inclusiveness as a long term goal, and to regional cooperation." This sentence, which was incorporated by Japan’s initiative, declares that the development of the community is the long term goal based on the principle of "open regional cooperation."
In addition, the Prime Minister Hatoyama made an address entitled as "Japan’s New Commitment to Asia - Toward the Realization of an East Asian Community -" at the APEC summit conference held in Singapore last November. He announced his policy on the East Asia Community initiative in the speech.
In his East Asia Community initiative, which put the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin, the Prime Minister Hatoyama proposed some cooperation based on the principle of "open regional cooperation" where "countries sharing a common vision promote cooperation in various fields" and "develop a multi-layered network of functional communities" in East Asia.
(1) Cooperation to prosper together for acceleration of EPA negotiations with the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and other countries, and for the discussions for the "CEPEA" among the ASEAN+6 as well as the "FTAAP" among APEC.
(2) Cooperation to save a "Green Asia" for the achievement of "sustainable growth" through reduction of greenhouse gas and an approach to the climate change.
(3) Cooperation to protect human lives for human security through approach to the infectious diseases and the establishment of a new framework for disaster management.
(4) Cooperation in building a "sea of fraternity" for the maritime security including further cooperation for counter piracy and "concluding agreements on search and rescue, in case of maritime accidents"
(5) Training and exchange of human resources as "the most important key to promote an East Asian community initiative", through continuing inviting 6,000 youths from East Asian countries every year, and expanding "the ability to transfer credits interchangeably" and harmonizing "the standards of assessment among universities in the region"
Although the effort to promote further cooperation in each field should be strengthened along with the basic policy above, it is indispensable to open Japan. And it will be necessary to make an effort to provide Japanese knowledge and experience for Asian countries to deal with "post-economic growth challenges" positively.
In response to the above reports, 22members of CEAC joined in an active exchange of views on the topic.