On August 23, 2018, the 16th Meeting of the China-Japan Committee on Intergovernmental Cooperation in Science and Technology was held in Tokyo, Japan. The Chinese delegation headed by Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, and the Japanese delegation co-headed by Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yoshimasa Hayashi and Ambassador for Science and Technology Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Takeshi Nakane attended the meeting. Chargé d‘affaires Guo Yan of the Chinese Embassy in Japan attended the opening ceremony of the meeting. The China-Japan Committee on Intergovernmental Science and Technology Cooperation was established in accordance with the Agreement on Intergovernmental Cooperation in Science and Technology between China and Japan signed in 1980, with the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan as the co-leading agencies and the participation of relevant government departments of the two countries. In principle, the Joint Committee meets every two years to discuss policies for bilateral cooperation in science and innovation, review the status quo of cooperation and agree on directions of future cooperation. Chinese representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Commerce, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Japanese representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries jointly attended the meeting.
The meeting was co-chaired by Ye Dongbai, Director General of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and Ambassador for Science and Technology Cooperation Takeshi Nakane of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director-General for International Affairs Yamawaki Yoshio of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. Minister Wang Zhigang, Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, Ambassador Takeshi Nakane and Counselor Yao Wen delivered opening addresses. Minister Wang Zhigang said that China and Japan are both countries that respect science and innovation and that the meeting is of great significance in that it was convened against a background of leaders of the two countries reaching a number of important consensus on pushing China-Japan relations back to the normal track and strengthening bilateral cooperation in innovation. Minister Wang Zhigang pointed out that China and Japan are highly complementary in science and technology, with great potential for development and that strengthening equal and mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of science and innovation is an important agreement reached by leaders of the two countries and that it is in line with the common interests and innovation-driven development of the two countries. Minister Wang Zhigang also made suggestions on future direction of China-Japan cooperation in science and innovation. Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Ambassador Takeshi Nakane reviewed the existing foundation and opportunities for China-Japan cooperation in science and innovation, and shared their ideas on further promoting science and technology cooperation. Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi pointed out that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China and friendly exchanges between the two countries have been on steady rise. Over the years, the two sides have developed cooperative relations in the field of science and technology, promoted the building of joint research platforms, and expanded people-to-people exchanges. Ambassador Takeshi Nakane remarked that since the establishment of the mechanism of the Japan-China Joint Committee on Intergovernmental Science and Technology Cooperation, the two countries have played an increasingly prominent role in leading global development through their cooperation in science and technology. Exchanges and cooperation in science and technology have made positive contributions to the development of bilateral relations. Subsequently, representatives of the two sides introduced their respective policies on science and innovation, reviewed the status quo of cooperation in relevant fields since the 15th meeting of the Joint Committee and discussed cooperation priorities for the next step.
Before the meeting, Minister Wang Zhigang and Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi held small-scale talks and reached agreement on starting cooperation in building joint research platforms. During the meeting, the two ministers jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan on Cooperation in Building Joint Research Platforms.