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METI Minister Seko Visited China

From November 26 (Sat.) to 27 (Sun.), 2016, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Beijing, the People’s Republic of China, to attend the Tenth Japan-China Energy Conservation and Environment Forum. Taking this opportunity, he also held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Xu Shaoshi, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

1. The Tenth Japan-China Energy Conservation and Environment Forum

1) On November 26 (Sat.), 2016, Japan and China jointly held the forum in Beijing. As representatives of Japan, Minister Seko, Mr. Shoji Muneoka, Chairman of the Japan-China Economic Association, Mr. Takashi Shimada, Director-General, Trade Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and other officials attended the forum, while representatives of China, Chairman Xu, Mr. Zhang Yong, Vice Chairman of the NDRC, Ms. Gao Yan, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), and other officials attended. The forum brought together over 800 stakeholders in the public and private sectors from Japan and China.

2) In the morning, six working sessions were held focusing on specific subjects, including the energy efficiency service industry, and new energy vehicles and the introduction of AI into vehicles, which are areas that both Japan and China have shared interests. Experts from Japan and China made presentations and expressed their views concerning energy efficiency, environmental technologies and other issues in the respective fields.

3) At the beginning of the plenary session in the afternoon, Chairman Xu delivered opening remarks. He also mentioned the importance of a strategic reciprocal relationship between Japan and China and made statements concerning the issue that both countries need to promote efforts for human resource development and technical cooperation, including efforts concerning the convening of the forum, in the fields of energy conservation and the environment. He also stated that both countries should play a leading role in committing to protect the environment in Asian region, through which they will advance global actions in the fields of energy conservation and the environment under the G20 and other frameworks, aiming to overcome climate change and other common challenges that all humankind is facing.

Following this, Minister Seko delivered a speech. He highlighted three points, mentioning an increasing sense of uncertainty about the future global economy: [i] the importance of Japan and China making advances while carefully balancing the two wheels of free trade and domestic growth, [ii] the need to unite the respective advantages of Japan and China in terms of domestic growth in a reciprocal manner and to increase growth ability together, particularly in the fields of energy efficiency and the environment, where both countries are highly likely to build a win-win relationship, and [iii] the future needs to enter a new phase in terms of two new perspectives—scope and area—to expand cooperation between Japan and China.

Following the speech, as a representative of China, Vice Minister Gao introduced the MOFCOM’s efforts in the fields of energy efficiency and the environment, including the establishment of a recycling-oriented economic system and green development, while she also stated the importance of Japan-China cooperation, the future directions of such cooperation, and other issues.

2. Exchanging ceremony of signed project documents

At the exchanging ceremony of signed project documents, Japan and China exchanged signed documents concerning 28 projects, thereby coming to 313 cooperation projects that have been concluded so far (for the list of the signed projects, see Appendix 2).

Moreover, Minister Seko and Chairman Xu signed a Memorandum for Further Deepening Japan-China Cooperation in the Fields of Energy Efficiency and the Environment, which was concluded by METI and NDRC. The memorandum specifies cooperation efforts, including the continuous convening of the forum, the encouragement of further cooperation between companies and research institutes, and the enhanced human resource fostering in the field of green development.

3. Meeting between Minister Seko and Chairman Xu, NDRC

Taking advantage of the forum, a bilateral meeting was held between Minister Seko and Chairman Xu, NDRC. Both sides exchanged views on a variety of issues, including the current state of the global economy, the economic situation in Japan and China, and the issue of excess steel capacity. Moreover, Japan mentioned the resumption of the Japan-China High-Level Consultation, which has been suspended since 2012, at an early timing in 2017, and China offered a promising response.

Outline of the Appendices

Release date

November 28, 2016

Division in Charge

  • Northeast Asia Division, Trade Policy Bureau, METI
  • Policy Planning Division, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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