Japan, China open dialogue to prevent trade conflicts

Kyodo

Japan and China began their first vice ministerial economic talks Tuesday to discuss ways of heading off bilateral trade conflicts and promoting cooperation in East Asia.

The Japan-China Economic Partnership Consultations is aimed at exploring measures to deepen mutual understanding and cooperative ties to help avoid a recurrence of the trade disputes that rocked the two nations over agricultural products last year, Japanese government officials said.

Japan’s delegation includes Ichiro Fujisaki, deputy foreign minister for economic affairs, and other officials from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

China is represented by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Japan was to call for the creation of permanent committees concerning agricultural products, intellectual property, light manufacturing industries such as textiles, and quarantines, Japanese delegates said.

The two countries were also expected to discuss how to cooperate in new multilateral trade talks under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, they said.

Japan and China agreed to set up the bilateral economic talks when Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Premier Zhu Rongji met in April.