On November 10, the 3rd Trilateral Agricultural Ministers' Meeting was held in Beijing. Under the theme of Strengthening Win-win Cooperation in Trilateral Agriculture and Promoting Development of Regional Green Agriculture, agricultural ministers of China, Japan and Republic of Korea exchanged in-depth their views on implementing consensus reached at the 7th Summit Meeting between the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea and further promoting the trilateral cooperation in agriculture and rural areas, while highlighting the cooperation in areas of rural vitalization, development of green agriculture, food security and the prevention and control of animal and plant diseases. Delegations headed respectively by Takamori Yoshikawa, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan and Lee Gae-Ho, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of the Republic of Korea attended the meeting which was chaired by Minister Han Changfu with attendance of Han Mei, Deputy Secretary General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat by invitation.
Minister Han Changfu made his introduction focusing on China’s practices and experience in implementing the rural vitalization strategy, promoting development of green agriculture and guaranteeing food security. Minister Han pointed out that the Chinese government has attached great importance to the development of green agriculture and has been vigorously promoting green agricultural production and rural lifestyle with the aim of accelerating the agricultural transition from quantity-orientated to quality-orientated development. Thus, the development of green agriculture in China has entered into a new phase. At present, China is fully implementing the rural vitalization strategy. Given that the three countries are highly complementary in technology, industry and market, it is high time to strengthen the all-round agricultural cooperation among the three countries and elevate it to a new height. Minister Han suggested that the three countries strengthen cooperation in rural development, agricultural science and technology as well as economy and trade so as to double China’s trade volume of agricultural products with Japan and Korea in next decade to over $ 30 billion. Minister Han also proposed the model of China-Japan-Korea plus One in order to carry out cooperation in a fourth market.
Mr. Takamori Yoshikawa shared Japan’s experience in promoting rural vitalization, developing environmentally friendly agriculture, ensuring food security, conducting transboundary animal and plant disease control and prevention and carrying out regional agricultural cooperation. Mr. Takamori Yoshikawa also highlighted the importance of even closer cooperation among the three countries in areas mentioned above and invited the two ministers to participate in the G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting to be held in Niigata prefecture, Japan, in 2019.
Mr. Lee Gae-Ho mainly introduced the situation and challenges faced by agriculture and rural development in Korea and pointed out that science and technology are the main driving force in supporting agricultural development, and that the integration of the primary, secondary and tertiary industries is the major measure for rural vitalization. The three countries have achieved outstanding progress through close cooperation in areas of green agriculture, food security as well as prevention and control of critical animal and plant diseases and significant consensuses have been reached through coordinating positions under the multilateral agricultural mechanism. Mr. Lee Gae-Ho also stressed that strengthening cooperation among China, Japan and Korea will greatly promote common development in agriculture and rural areas.
The three ministers signed the Joint Communiqué of the 3rd Trilateral Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of the Republic of Korea on Promoting Agricultural Cooperation under the Framework of Rural Vitalization and they attended the press conference. During the meeting, Minister Han Changfu had bilateral talks with Mr. Takamori Yoshikawa and Mr. Lee Gae-Ho respectively.
Since the establishment of the cooperation mechanism by China, Japan and Republic of Korea, the three countries have set up a platform for agricultural cooperation mainly through ministerial meetings, policy research, academic exchanges and agricultural expos, which constantly enrich the content of cooperation. With more collaborative positions and actions, the three sides work closely in promoting food security, combating climate changes, eliminating poverty and pushing forward the implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda released by UN. With deeper exchanges on agricultural policies and prevention and control of animal and plant diseases, stable growth of trade in agricultural products has been achieved by the three countries.
The Trilateral Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting is one of the 21 ministerial meetings under the framework of cooperation between China, Japan and Korea and the two previous meetings were held in Korea in April, 2012 and in Japan in September, 2015 respectively. The 4th Trilateral Agricultural Ministers’ Meeting will be held in Korea.