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[Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry] [Monday, Nov 10, 2014]

METI Minister Miyazawa Visited China

From November 7 to 9, 2014, Mr. Yoichi Miyazawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Beijing, the People’s Republic of China, to attend the 26th APEC Ministerial Meeting. Taking this opportunity, he also had bilateral meetings with Mr. Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce, China, Mr. Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, China, Dr. Alexey Valentinovich Ulyukaev, Minister of Economic Development, Russia, and Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative.

1. APEC Ministerial Meeting

Under the chairmanship of China (co-chairs: Minister Gao and Mr. Wang Yi , Minister of Foreign Affairs), the Ministers of APEC member economies had proactive discussions on various issues, including the multilateral trading system, advancement of regional economic integration including FTAAP, promotion of economic reform and growth, and strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development.

Concerning the multilateral trading system, Minister Miyazawa called for efforts towards restoration of the WTO negotiating function, as well as for swift conclusion of the ITA (WTO Information Technology Agreement) expansion negotiation, and gained support from many ministers. In order to contain emerging protectionism, the Ministers also confirmed that they would recommend their leaders to extend the date until which the member economies will refrain from introducing new protectionist measures to 2018.

Moreover, concerning the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), the Ministers endorsed the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP, aiming to promote the efforts for realizing the FTAAP and establish it as early as possible by building on the existing initiatives in the APEC region, such as TPP and RCEP. They also agreed to launch a collective strategic study on issues related to the realization of the FTAAP. Furthermore, they agreed to formulate an action plan by the end of 2015 concerning the liberalization of trade in manufacturing-related services and environmental services, based on proposals from Japan, as reflected in the Ministerial Statement.

Concerning the promotion of economic reform and growth, Minister Miyazawa reported to the Ministers the achievements of the Abenomics, under which the Government of Japan will ensure to steadily implement the growth strategy revised in June 2014, including corporate tax reforms and innovation promotion, aiming to ensure a virtuous economic circle. In addition, as one of Japan’s initiatives for empowerment of women, a project titled “50 Leading Companies for Women in APEC,” which shares information on the best practices of about 50 leading companies in the APEC region in supporting active participation by women, was included in the Ministerial Statement.

Furthermore, Japan gained understanding from the Ministers about energy-related issues for enhanced energy security, including clean energy, such as high efficiency coal-fired power generation and nuclear energy as a base load power source, renewable energy, enhancement of energy efficiency, importance of creating a competitive and flexible LNG market through relaxation of the destination clause, and other efforts.

The Ministers discussed the strengthening of comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development, which is one of the priority areas in 2014, and recognized the importance of quality of infrastructure in infrastructure development and investment including lifecycle cost, which is the total cost incurred from procurement and manufacture to disposal, environmental impacts and safety. In addition, a guidebook compiled by Japan, describing the measures for how to secure quality of infrastructure, was welcomed by the Ministers and included in the Ministerial Statement.

2. Bilateral meetings
(1)At the meeting with Minister of Commerce Gao, China, both sides shared recognition of importance regarding expansion of mutual trade and investment, enhancement of Japan-China exchange through a variety of channels to achieve such trade and investment, the ITA expansion negotiation, as well as holding a Japan-China Energy Conservation Forum as early as possible. Minister Miyazawa requested Minister Gao to further improve the Chinese business environment for Japanese enterprises that are developing business in China, including protecting their intellectual property rights and making the application of the antimonopoly law more transparent.

(2) At the meeting with Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao, China, both sides shared the recognition that mutually deepening dialogues and cooperation between Japan and China in accordance with the idea of a mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. They also shared common understanding of resuming the dialogues between METI and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China in various fields, including automobiles and IT. Furthermore, they agreed to make efforts to the maximum extent possible toward an early conclusion of the ITA expansion negotiation.

(3) At the meeting with Minister of Economic Development Ulyukaev, Russia, Minister Miyazawa expressed Japan’s concern over the current situation in Ukraine and stated expectation for the prompt achievement of a peaceful settlement. Both sides confirmed the significance of Japan-Russia economic cooperation in the fields of SMEs and development in the Far East region, which are not related to Japan’s sanctions imposed on Russia, even under such a difficult situation.

(4) Minister Miyazawa had a meeting with Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative, and exchanged views concerning the WTO negotiations, such as advancing the Doha Round and the ITA expansion, as well as Japan-US cooperation in the APEC region. Concerning the TPP issue, both sides confirmed their continuous cooperation toward an early conclusion of the TPP negotiations, under the shared understanding that advancing the Japan-US negotiations is essential for accelerating the entire TPP negotiations.

Division in charge
APEC Office, Trade Policy Bureau

Meeting with Minister of Economic Development Ulyukaev Meeting with Ambassador Froman

[Japan Patent Office] [Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014]

Further Strengthening of Cooperation in the IP Field among Japan, China and Korea

The Japan Patent Office (JPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO), and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) held the 14th Japan-China-Korea Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting in Seoul, Korea on November 10. Mr. Hitoshi Ito, Commissioner of the JPO, attended the meeting and discussed the future cooperation among Japan, China and Korea in a wide range of areas including patent, design, and trial/appeals, with the heads of SIPO and KIPO. In addition, on the following day, November 11, a symposium with user from the three countries was held and participants lively exchanged their opinions on the utility model system and other issues. The JPO intends to further strengthen the cooperation in the IP field in the trilateral framework of Japan, China and Korea.

14th Japan-China-Korea Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting 14th Japan-China-Korea Trilateral Policy Dialogue Meeting

[Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry] [Monday, Nov 10, 2014]

Continuation of the Joint Oil Storage Project between Japan and Abu Dhabi

On November 9, 2014, H.E. Mr. Yosuke Takagi, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and H.E. Mr. Abdulla Nasser Al Suweidi, member of Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), concluded a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Continuation of the Joint Oil Storage Project between Japan and Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

1. Outline of the signing ceremony

State Minister Takagi and H.E. Al Suweidi signed the MOC to renew the existing joint oil storage project between Japan and Abu Dhabi, on the occasion of a visit of State Minister Takagi to Abu Dhabi to attend the International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC). The signing ceremony was held with people involved from SPC and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) with officials from the Government of Japan attending.

2. Outline of the project

The project was launched in June 2009 under a five-year contract, in response to a proposal offered by the Abu Dhabi side in the same year. Under the project, METI leases domestic private crude oil storage tanks at the Kiire base of JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, with support from the Government of Japan, and ADNOC provides a priority supply of stockpiled crude oil in the tanks for Japan in case Japan’s oil supply becomes insufficient, while making use of the tanks as the company’s transshipment and oil-stockpiling base for East Asia. This project contributes to enhancing the relationship between Japan and Abu Dhabi, on which Japan depends for about 23% of its imports of crude oil, and also strengthens Japan’s ability to respond to crises.

The renewed MOC includes the official agreement to extend the project, which has been conducted for five years, Japan’s lease of such oil storage tanks with a capacity of up to about 6.30 million barrels (1 million KL), based on the statement made by Prime Minister Abe in February 2014 in response to a request from Abu Dhabi, and other agreements.

Division in charge

Petroleum Refining and Reserve Division, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy

Signing ceremony of the MOC Signing ceremony of the MOC