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Hatoyama Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 2 (October 16, 2009)

Yukio Hatoyama's "Yu-Ai" -- Message from the Prime Minister
(Provisional Translation)

Prime Minister HatoyamaProfile Japanese

"Tenth anniversary of Japan-China-ROK cooperation"

I visited Seoul and Beijing at the end of last week. While my third overseas visit since becoming Prime Minister three weeks ago was only an overnight trip, it was a very fruitful one. President Lee Myung-bak, President Hu Jintao, and I were all at conferences in New York and Pittsburgh; meeting so many times in such a short period naturally brought us closer together.

During my talks with President Lee in Seoul, it was just the two of us in the room for most of the time, with many other staff members waiting in another room. It was President Lee who brought up the subject of "yu-ai," or fraternity and we had a lively discussion about the East Asian Community concept.

We spent a long time discussing the issue of North Korea's nuclear development. We agreed that without concrete progress from North Korea to abandon its nuclear program there would be no economic assistance. President Lee explained this as the Grand Bargain proposal. I requested that the abduction issue also be dealt with comprehensively in this bargain. President Lee strongly stressed the importance of the abduction issue from the viewpoint of human rights and committed to cooperate for its resolution.

The greatest purpose of my visit this time was to participate in the Japan-China-Republic of Korea (ROK) Trilateral Summit Meeting which took place the following day in Beijing. This summit marked the tenth anniversary of the three leaders meeting together. Premier Wen Jiabao of China chaired the meeting, and President Lee and I attended.

In an opening statement, I stated that the new Japanese government would focus its attention on Asia and that there was no doubt that the coordination among Japan, China, and the ROK would become even stronger. We discussed various topics and, as a concrete example of youth exchange, I proposed that permitting the interchangeability among universities of credits earned would help strip away the mental wall separating the youths of the three countries. At the end, we issued a joint statement advocating the strengthening of a mutually cooperative relationship.

It was very interesting that during the trilateral summit meeting Premier Wen spoke in detail about his meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-il of the National Defense Commission of North Korea. In Premier Wen's opinion, North Korea not only wants to improve its currently hostile relationship with the United States, but also its relations with the ROK and Japan. Premier Wen suggested that it would be possible for the Six-Party Talks to resume.

During the bilateral summit talks with Premier Wen, I proposed that we turn the East China Sea into a Sea of Fraternity, just as I did to President Hu previously. I then touched upon the dumpling incident, stating that China's sincere response to the issue would be an important factor in restoring trust between Japan and China. Premier Wen replied that Chinese public security authorities would continue their investigation.

I also requested the formulation of a Japan-China Food Safety Promotion Initiative, seriously taking into account the fact that various issues that followed the dumpling incident have been threatening food safety. With Premier Wen's agreement, I believe we will move forward toward the formulation of the initiative. I am convinced that if the initiative successfully improves the safety of food in Japan and China, and Japanese people can eat Chinese food products with peace of mind, it will benefit both countries.

Strengthening our cooperative relationship through frequent mutual visits by the heads of Japan, China, and the ROK will, I believe, contribute greatly to Asia and by extension the world. It has been a whirlwind trip, but I feel that it was quite a meaningful one.

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General Editor: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
Chief Editor: Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno
Publication: Cabinet Public Relations Office
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8968, Japan

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