10TH TOKYO-BEIJING FORUM:The full text of the 'Tokyo Consensus'

September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014
The Genron NPO
China Daily

This is the full text of the joint statement, named the "Tokyo Consensus," adopted at the end of the 10th Tokyo-Beijing Forum on Sept. 29. It is for English-speakers' reference only and the original Japanese version can be seen at https://www.genron-npo.net/world/genre/tokyobeijing/post-324.html

Tokyo Consensus

The 10th meeting of the Tokyo-Beijing Forum took place in Tokyo from Sept. 28 to Sept. 29, 2014, at which about 100 influential figures, intellectuals and journalists from Japan and China had frank and in-depth discussions about problems in such fields as politics, economics, national security and media activities, as well as issues related to the seriously worsening sentiments toward each other among the two countries' peoples.

We have participated in the Tokyo session with a special feeling and stuck fast to a common resolve that our private-sector dialogue can help ease the difficulties facing relations between the two countries and thereby, carry on a special mission to find a solution. We understand that the continued difficulties in Japan-China relations will be improved only with understanding and support between the two countries' peoples. Therefore, we will have to maintain a resolve to find a solution while discharging the strength of debate as persons in the private sector in both countries, and continuously make efforts to break the stalemate in Japan-China relations and speak out to improve the situation.

With the strong resolve and the firm belief as stated above, we have adopted our agreement as herein to sum up our dialogue at this landmark 10th session, on the basis of the Beijing Consensus adopted in 2013, and we present our agreement as the 2014 Tokyo Consensus.

1. We have agreed as herein: The two countries not only share many profits as geographically very close neighbors but also shoulder unavoidable important international responsibilities. It is the best possible and sole alternative for both countries to pursue peaceful coexistence and maintain friendship over generations. However, the current Japan-China relationship faces its most serious difficulties since the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Mutual visits by top political leaders have come to a halt while economic and trade activities between the two countries are declining, and the public sentiments toward each other's country are in a serious condition. This is undesirable not only for the two countries' peoples but also for the international community. We will make mutual concessions and positive efforts to improve the bilateral political environment so that a summit between the two countries may be held at an early date.

2. We have agreed as herein: It will be very important for improving and developing Japan-China relations to appropriately solve the problems related to both countries' inconsistent historical perceptions about the wartime incidents and the issues concerning the ownership of a group of islands between the two countries. In light of our "No-War Pledge," as adopted at the ninth forum last year, we welcome the restart of a high-level maritime business consultation between the two countries as a very encouraging development and hope that this consultation will bear fruit at an early date.

3. We have agreed as herein: Our dialogue in the past 10 years has played numerous important roles. In particular, the second forum, which was held in Tokyo in 2006, contributed significantly to the "thawing" of bilateral relations. The most important asset we have built up through the 10 meetings of the forum is the fact that we can and we must have serious dialogue about the various problems between Japan and China, however difficult the bilateral relations are.
As mentioned by many intellectuals in the latest dialogue, mutual understanding between the two countries has not improved. Many people lack a vision for the future of relations between the two countries. It is indispensable for the bilateral relationship to develop high-quality dialogue and present proposals through a platform in the private sector.
Based on the three-point agreement as stated above, we will continue frank and in-depth discussions, and do our best to return Japan-China relations to a healthy and stable track for development as soon as possible.
At a time when the two countries' peoples are pinning strong hopes on an important role to be played by private-sector diplomacy, we have agreed that in order to actively pursue our mission, we will continue the Tokyo-Beijing Forum as an important mechanism of private-sector dialogue between Japan and China in the next decade, and at the same time, strive to play an even more important role while enhancing our dialogue to an even higher level.

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