China–Japan–South Korea trilateral summit
Map of East Asia indicating China (mainland in red, Taiwan in pink),
Japan (green), and South Korea (blue with the lighter shade for North Korea).
|China–Japan–South Korea trilateral summit|
|South Korean name|
The China–Japan–South Korea trilateral summit is an annual summit meeting held between China, Japan and South Korea, three major countries in East Asia. The first summit was held during December 2008 in Fukuoka, Japan. The talks are focused on maintaining strong trilateral relations, the regional economy and disaster relief.
The summits were first proposed by South Korea in 2004, as a meeting outside the framework of the ASEAN Plus Three, with the three major economies of East Asia having a separate community forum. In November 2007 during the ASEAN Plus Three meeting, the leaders of China, Japan, and South Korea held their eighth meeting, and decided to strengthen political dialogue and consultations between the three countries, eventually deciding on an ad hoc meeting to be held in 2008.
In September 2011, the three countries launched the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat in Seoul. The Secretary-General is appointed on a two-year rotational basis in the order of Korea, Japan, and China. Each country other than the one of the Secretary-General nominates a Deputy Secretary-General respectively.
|Summit||Host Country||Participants||Host City||Date|
|China Premier||Japan Prime Minister||South Korea President|
|1st||Japan||Wen Jiabao||Tarō Asō||Lee Myung-bak||Dazaifu||13 December 2008|
|2nd||China||Wen Jiabao||Yukio Hatoyama||Lee Myung-bak||Beijing||10 October 2009|
|3rd||South Korea||Wen Jiabao||Yukio Hatoyama||Lee Myung-bak||Jeju||29 May 2010|
|4th||Japan||Wen Jiabao||Naoto Kan||Lee Myung-bak||Fukushima & Tokyo||21–22 May 2011|
|5th||China||Wen Jiabao||Yoshihiko Noda||Lee Myung-bak||Beijing||13–14 May 2012|
|6th||South Korea||Li Keqiang||Shinzō Abe||Park Geun-hye||Seoul||1 November 2015|
|7th||Japan||Li Keqiang||Shinzō Abe||Moon Jae-in||Tokyo||9 May 2018|
|8th||China||Li Keqiang||Shinzō Abe||Moon Jae-in||Chengdu||23–25 December 2019|
|9th||South Korea||Li Keqiang||Yoshihide Suga||Moon Jae-in||Seoul||TBD 2020|
Foreign Minister summits
|Summit||Host Country||Participants||Host City||Date|
|1st||South Korea||Yang Jiechi||Tarō Asō||Song Min-soon||Jeju||3 June 2007|
|2nd||Japan||Yang Jiechi||Masahiko Kōmura||Yu Myung-hwan||Tokyo||14 June 2008|
|3rd||China||Yang Jiechi||Katsuya Okada||Yu Myung-hwan||Shanghai||28 September 2009|
|4th||South Korea||Yang Jiechi||Katsuya Okada||Yu Myung-hwan||Gyeongju||15 May 2010|
|5th||Japan||Yang Jiechi||Takeaki Matsumoto||Kim Sung-hwan||Kyoto||19 March 2011|
|6th||China||Yang Jiechi||Kōichirō Genba||Kim Sung-hwan||Ningbo||8 April 2012|
|7th||South Korea||Wang Yi||Fumio Kishida||Yun Byung-se||Seoul||21 March 2015|
|8th||Japan||Wang Yi||Fumio Kishida||Yun Byung-se||Kurashiki||24 August 2016|
|9th||China||Wang Yi||Tarō Kōno||Kang Kyung-wha||Beijing||21 August 2019|
Finance Minister summits
|Summit||Host Country||Host City||Date|
|1st||Brunei||Brunei||9 September 2000|
|2nd||China||Shanghai||11 May 2002|
|3rd||Indonesia||Bali||5 July 2003|
|4th||South Korea||Jeju||16 May 2004|
|5th||Turkey||Istanbul||4 May 2005|
|6th||India||Hyderabad||4 May 2006|
|7th||Japan||Tokyo||4 May 2007|
|8th||Spain||Madrid||4 May 2008|
|9th||Indonesia||Bali||3 May 2009|
|10th||Uzbekistan||Tashkent||2 May 2010|
|11th||Vietnam||Hanoi||4 May 2011|
|12th||Philippines||Manila||3 May 2012|
|13th||Australia||Cairns||19 September 2014|
|14th||Azerbaijan||Baku||3 May 2015|
|15th||Peru||Lima||8 October 2015|
|16th||Germany||Frankfurt||3 May 2016|
|17th||Japan||Yokohama||5 May 2017|
|18th||Philippines||Manila||4 May 2018|
|19th||Fiji||Nadi||2 May 2019|
|Summit||Host Country||Host City||Date|
|1st||Philippines||Manila||29 November 1999|
|2nd||Singapore||Singapore||24 November 2000|
|3rd||Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan||5 November 2001|
|4th||Cambodia||Phnom Penh||4 November 2002|
|5th||Indonesia||Bali||7 October 2003|
|6th||Laos||Vientiane||29 November 2004|
|7th||Philippines||Cebu||14 January 2007|
|8th||Singapore||Singapore||20 November 2007|
|9th||Thailand||Pattaya||11 April 2009|
|10th||Vietnam||Hanoi||29 October 2010|
|11th||Indonesia||Bali||19 November 2011|
1st trilateral summit (2008)
The first separate meeting of the leaders of the three countries was held in Fukuoka, Japan. During the meeting, the "Joint Statement between the three partners" was signed and issued, which identified the direction and principles behind cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea. The conference adopted the "International Financial and Economic Issues Joint Statement", "Disaster Management of the Three Countries Joint Statement" and "Action plan to promote cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea".
One of the topics discussed focused on the improvement of future relations between the three countries, from strategic and long-term perspectives. Prior talks between the three countries have been hindered specifically by various territorial and historical disputes. Chinese premier Wen Jiabao stated that "China is willing to make joint efforts with Japan to continue to develop the strategic and mutually beneficial ties in a healthy and stable manner, to benefit the peoples of the two countries and other nations in the region as well."  Japanese prime minister Tarō Asō also expressed that he believed the best manner in dealing with the economic crisis of 2008 was economic partnership. There is also speculation of a future regional Free trade area. Such co-operation would greatly benefit the three nations, which account for two thirds of total trade, 40% of total population and three quarters  of the GDP of Asia (20% of global GDP ), during the ongoing economic crisis.
2nd trilateral summit (2009)
The second summit was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Despite the worries of limitations that the summit has faced in 2008, this all changed in 2009, when Japan, China and Korea were forced to coordinate and cooperate more closely to manage the regional effects of the global financial crisis.
In their joint statement on the crisis, the trio identified the need to cooperate on global issues (such as financial risk) and in global institutions, including at the G20. While a reaction to global events, this cooperation began to significantly affect the management of East Asia. Over the course of 2009, the three nations resolved their long running dispute over contributions (and thus voting weight) in the Chiang Mai Initiatives, the first major ‘success’ of the ASEAN Plus Three process. The three nations also worked together to push through a general capital increase at the Asian Development Bank to help it fight the effects of the global financial crisis, a decision mandated by the G20 but about which the US appeared ambivalent.
3rd trilateral summit (2010)
The third summit among these three countries was held in Jeju, Korea. The prime minister of Korea, Lee Myung bak hosted the meeting and China's prime minister, Wen Jiabao, Japan's prime minister Yukio Hatoyama attended the meeting. One document called the 2020 Cooperation Prospect was released, which firstly emphasized that the three countries will face up to history and cooperate for the future development. Also, looking forward to the specific goals that should be achieved in the next ten years, this document stressed the importance to concentrate on the cooperation in different fields.
In the progress of institutionalizations and improvements of the partnership, the leaders decided to enhance the communication and strategic mutual trust. The leaders agreed to establish a secretariat in Korea in 2011 to confront the natural disaster, discuss the possibility to build up the 'defense dialogue mechanism', improve the policing cooperation and boost the communication among the government. In terms of sustainable development and common prosperity, the leaders said they would try to complete the survey of the Trilateral Free Trade Area before 2012; improve the trade volume; enhance trade facilitation and they restated that they would attach great importance to the customs cooperation; make efforts to the negotiation about investment agreement and offer necessary infrastructure for the improvement of the free flow of investment capital; enhance the coordination of the financial departments; improve the effectiveness of the multilateral Chiang mai initiate; reject all forms of trade protectionism; improve the cooperation in science and innovation; and strengthen the cooperation and consultation policies in the fields of industry, energy, the energy efficiency and resource.
4th trilateral summit (2011)
Because the previous three summit meetings covered a wide range of world issues, they did not produce any concrete outcome. There was no agreement on North Korea's nuclear development or on the March and September 2010 incidents involving North Korea. Moreover, although the leaders of the three countries had agreed to set up a permanent secretariat headquartered in Seoul to facilitate trilateral cooperation, it has still not been implemented. The three leaders had also agreed to strengthen mutual understanding and trust, expand cooperation in trade, investment, finance, and environmental protection. Not much progress has been achieved in these areas as well over the past one year.
The fourth meeting was held in the wake of the nuclear accident at Fukushima and the natural disaster in Japan. Prime Minister Kan Naoto proposed to hold the summit in Fukushima to convey the message to the world that Fukushima has already become a safe place. The Japanese government hoped that if the heads of the three countries gather in the crisis-stricken city, radiation fears will be mitigated. However, due to logistic problems, the meeting could not be held in Fukushima and instead was held in Tokyo.
While Japan was accused of not providing its neighbours with accurate information when radioactive materials leaked at Fukushima, the summit led to agreement to establish an emergency notification system, enhance cooperation among experts, and share information in the event of emergencies.
5th trilateral summit (2012)
14 May 2012, Leaders from China, Japan, and South Korea concluded the Fifth Trilateral Summit Meeting and signed the Trilateral Agreement for the Promotion, Facilitation and Protection of Investment (hereinafter referred as the Trilateral Agreement) at a summit in Beijing. The Trilateral Agreement represents a stepping stone towards a three-way free trade pact to counter global economic turbulence and to boost economic growth in Asia.
According to a joint declaration, the three nations will further enhance the “future-oriented comprehensive cooperative partnership” to unleash vitality into the economic growth of the three countries, accelerate economic integration in East Asia, and facilitate economic recovery and growth in the world.
In the joint declaration, the three nations list directions and prioritization of future cooperation, which includes enhancing mutual political trust, deepening economic and trade cooperation, promoting sustainable development, expanding social, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and strengthening communication and coordination in regional and international affairs.
Among all these proposals, the signing of the Trilateral Agreement and the decision to endorse the recommendation from the trade ministers to launch the trilateral FTA negotiations within this year are at the top of the priority list in deepening economic and trade cooperation.
6th trilateral summit (2015)
The 6th trilateral summit was held on 1 November 2015 in Seoul, resuming the summit since 2012 due to varieties of disputes and issues ranging from World War II apologies to territorial disputes among the three nations. During the summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye agreed to meet annually in order to work towards deepening trade relations with the proposed trilateral free trade agreement. They also agreed to pursue the six-party talks over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
7th trilateral summit (2018)
- Shin Bong-kil (1 September 2011 - 31 August 2013)
- Rui Matsukawa & Mao Ning (Deputies)
- Shigeo Iwatani (1 September 2013 - 31 August 2015)
- Yang Houlan (1 September 2015 – 31 August 2017)
- Lee Jong-heon (1 September 2017 – 31 August 2019)
- Hisashi Michigami (1 September 2019 – present)
|Japan||377,915||125,930,000||333.2||0.915 (very high)|
|South Korea||100,210||51,780,579||516.7||0.906 (very high)|
- Largest municipals in China, Japan, & South Korea
|Country||Active Military||Military Budget
billions of USD
% of GDP
millions of USD
millions of USD
|GDP nominal per capita
|GDP PPP per capita
millions of USD
millions of USD
millions of USD
(CNY; 圆; ￥)
(JPY; 円; ￥)
|South Korea||South Korean won
(KRW; 원; ￦)
Organization and groups
|China||Beijing Capital International Airport||100,011,000|
|Japan||Tokyo International Airport||85,505,054|
|South Korea||Incheon International Airport||71,169,516|
|China||Hong Kong International Airport||74,360,976|
|South Korea||Incheon International Airport||67,676,147|
|Japan||Narita International Airport||35,300,076|
|China||Hong Kong International Airport||4,809,485|
|South Korea||Incheon International Airport||2,764,369|
|Japan||Narita International Airport||2,104,063|
|Japan||Tokyo: Narita, Haneda, & Chōfu||130,589,705|
|China||Shanghai: Pudong & Hongqiao||117,636,331|
|South Korea||Seoul: Incheon & Gimpo||92,953,372|
- Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat
- China–Japan–South Korea Free Trade Agreement
- Economy of China / Japan / South Korea
- Relations between China and Japan / China and South Korea / Japan and South Korea
- Disputes between Japan and Korea
- Senkaku Islands dispute
- Socotra Rock dispute
- Financial crisis of 2007–08
- 2008 in China
- East Asia
- Chinese, Japanese PMs meet for boosting bilateral ties
- Chinese, Japanese PMs meet, pledge to boost bilateral ties
- China expects positive result at upcoming meeting with ROK, Japan Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
- CCTV-9 English News, broadcast 13 December 2008
- China, Japan, S Korea to promote co-op on disaster management Archived 2009-01-11 at the Wayback Machine
- Japan, South Korea, China: trilateral ties, tensions - Yahoo! Malaysia
- China, Japan, S Korea agree to enhance systematic co-op Archived 2009-01-12 at the Wayback Machine
- Regional summit to tackle crisis - Chinadaily
- A new channel opened up for integration of East Asia - Chinadaily
- ASEAN-China Relations Archived 2009-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
- SBS World News Australia, 14 December 2008
- Joel Rathus (June 15, 2010). "China-Japan-Korea trilateral cooperation and the East Asian Community". EAST ASIA FORUM. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- Rajaram Panda and Pranamita Baruah. "Japan-China-South Korea Trilateral Summit Meet Holds Promise". Institute for defence studies and analysis. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- Xiaolei Gu (May 14, 2012). "China-Japan-South Korea Sign Trilateral Agreement and Launch FTA Talks". CHINA BRIEFING. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- Choe Sang-hun (1 November 2015). "China, Japan and South Korea Pledge to Expand Trade at Joint Meeting". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Song Jung-a (1 November 2015). "S Korea, Japan and China agree to push for N Korea nuclear talks". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Tomohiro Osaki. Japan, China and South Korea are 'in sync' on North Korea, Japanese official says. Japan Times, May 9, 2018