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China, Japan to further food safety cooperation
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China and Japan will continue to cooperate and improve their product quality and food safety systems, said a press communique issued on Monday by the two countries after their first high-level economic dialogue.


In the communique, the two countries agreed to solve issues of common concern through technical negotiations through the end of March 2008. These issues include exports of Chinese pumpkins and the meat of artiodactyls (cattle, deer and similar hoofed animals) to Japan, as well as Japanese rice exports to China.


According to discussions between the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries officials Sunday, China has agreed to import the second batch of 150 tons of rice from Japan before next March, while Japan agreed to devise and launch working procedures, including insect inspections of Japanese rice, by the end of next March.


The first batch of Japanese rice, approximately 24 tons, hit the shelves of department stores in Beijing and Shanghai in July and has been sold out.


Japan said it would immediately launch domestic legal procedures to ensure import bans on Chinese pumpkins could be lifted by the end of next March.


It promised to start importing Chinese artiodactyl meat by the end of March, 2008, after it finished inspections of the products of 35 Chinese companies that sell such items.


The two sides also agreed to conduct exchanges and consultations on quarantine and inspection techniques before next May amid efforts to resume Japanese imports of frozen raw poultry from China, according to the AQSIQ.


The press communique said the two countries agreed to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation on quarantine and inspection techniques of exporting agricultural products, so as to normalize their bilateral trade.


The two countries also vowed in the press communique to strengthen their cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR).


Japan will continue to send delegates on IPR protection to visit China, carry out bilateral cooperation when amending major IPR laws and regulations, and continue personnel training in this field.


The two sides agreed to continue discussions on provision of relevant information on IPR infringement and exchanges and cooperation between localities.


The two countries will also actively participate an East Asian forum on new plant species protection, so as to coordinate and strengthen systems in this regard.


Post-Kyoto Protocol framework 


China and Japan will participate in constructing a new framework for tackling climate change after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, according to the communique.


The two countries pledged to actively tackle climate change under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and said that the post-Kyoto framework should be an effective mechanism with the participation of all major economies with responsible attitudes, the communique said.


The Japanese explained the importance of establishing new negotiation opportunities at the session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP) in Bali, Indonesia, which opened on Monday.


The Chinese side said that it would research the proposal of the Japanese side, the communique said.


Both sides acknowledged the effectiveness of multi-field cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP).


They agreed that, to effectively carry out measures to prevent global warming, it was vital to include multi-faceted cooperation under future mechanisms. Both sides agreed to push concerted efforts to tackle public hazards and global warming, according to the communique.


The two countries also pledged to enhance cooperation in expanding experimental zones for recycling, improving water quality in major waterways including the Yangtze, tackling air pollution, and preventing illegal cross-border waste transfers, it said.


2nd high-level economic dialogue


China and Japan agreed to convene their second high-level economic dialogue by the end of 2008, according to the communique.


According to a bilateral communique, they had "frank" discussion of issues concerning macro-economic policies, trade and investment, climate change, environmental protection and multilateral and regional economic cooperation.


Considering the interdependence of the Chinese and Japanese economies as well as their increasing importance in the Asian and world economies, both sides vowed to take the opportunity of the dialogue to further promote Sino-Japan economic ties and make a greater contribution to the sustained development of the world economy, the communique said.


In the dialogue, the two sides reaffirmed "mutual-beneficial" bilateral economic ties, the communique said. China spoke highly of the funds that the Japanese government offered to China, and appreciated the positive role of China-Japan non-governmental economic exchanges in facilitating China's economic development.


Japan believed China's economic development had contributed to Japan's economic development, the communique said.


Both sides expressed appreciation for the role of high-level economic dialogue in building bilateral, strategic, mutually beneficial ties. And they agreed to convene the second dialogue by the end of 2008, the communique said.


Assistance to third nations 


China and Japan pledged to continue dialogues on the assistance to third nations, according to the communique.


The two sides affirmed the importance of the development of Africa. Japan invited China to attend the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADIV) next year, and China would seriously consider the invitation, according to the communique.


Both sides also agreed to push the Doha round negotiation to reach agreement at an early date, and enhance cooperation in East Asia regional economic integration, including the East Asian Free Trade Agreement (EAFTA), Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA), and Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, the communique said.


The two sides expressed their willingness to strengthen multilateralization of the Chiang-Mai Initiative and to foster the Asian Bond Markets, it said.


Both sides assured to crack down on illegal activities involving abuse of international financial and trade systems via money laundering, terrorist fund and smuggling of goods harmful to the society, the communique said.


Market economy status


China says in the communique with Japan that it hopes Japan could recognize its market economy status as early as possible.


Some 30 years after it launched market-oriented reforms, China has become the world's largest anti-dumping target -- largely because it has been labeled a "non-market economy."


Vice Minister of Commerce Chen Deming has said in the dialogue that he hopes Japan could make wise political decision from the point of a sound bilateral trade relations and recognize China as a full market economy as early as possible, so as to inject new vitality to the development of bilateral trade relations.


Chen said that China is Japan's largest trading partner and exporting market with fastest growth, while Japan is China's third largest trading partner and second largest foreign investment source. The China-Japan trade volume in 2006 exceeded 200 billion US dollars.


Till now, 76 countries, including New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Norway and 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have recognized China's market economy status.


The first China-Japan high-level economic dialogue was held in Beijing on Saturday. The mechanism was jointly launched by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and then Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe during Wen's Japan trip in April.


(Xinhua News Agency December 3, 2007)

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