I am deeply grateful to Premier Li Keqiang and the people of China for wonderfully preparing the 8th Korea-China-Japan summit in this year that marks the 20th anniversary of our trilateral cooperation and for extending such warm hospitality to the delegations from both Korea and Japan.
My appreciation also goes to Prime Minister Abe for joining us in advancing our trilateral cooperation. I have high expectations for my summit with the Prime Minister that’s scheduled for this afternoon.
It is all the more meaningful that this summit has been held in Chengdu, an ancient capital of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period and currently a pivotal city in western China. Just like the spirit of Liu Bei, who governed with virtue while putting people first, I hope our trilateral cooperation will lead to the kind of governance by virtue that will benefit the lives of our peoples.
Today, Premier Li, Prime Minister Abe and I reaffirmed the importance of the cooperation that has been cultivated over the past two decades. We agreed to elevate substantive cooperation to a new level so that people will be able to sense the results.
First, we laid an important milestone to ensure regularized trilateral cooperation. This three-way summit has been held over two consecutive years for the first time since 2012, which is already a significant outcome. Next year, the Republic of Korea will serve as the host.
At the meeting today, it was meaningful for our three countries to build a consensus on the importance of normalizing cooperation as well as on the need to strengthen the capabilities of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat and launch the Trilateral Cooperation Fund. We agreed to redouble our efforts to create synergy between trilateral cooperation and the respective bilateral relations among Korea, China and Japan.
Second, we came to an agreement to promote cooperation in areas directly related to the lives of our peoples for the sake of their happiness.
Following the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in Korea, the Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo and Beijing one after another. Our three countries will work together to ensure the success of the back-to-back Olympics in Northeast Asia and enhance mutual trust by expanding people-to-people, educational, cultural and sports exchanges.
We agreed to expand cooperation with regard to the environment, health and aging populations to improve the quality of life of our peoples. In addition, we also saw eye to eye on the need to respond to such new challenges as the Fourth Industrial Revolution and protectionism and work together to create future growth engines through cooperation on science and technology.
Third, our three countries agreed to maintain close communication and cooperation going forward for the sake of denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. With shared understanding that peace on the Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of the three countries, we reached a consensus on working together to ensure substantive progress in denuclearization and for peace through dialogue between North Korea and the United States at the earliest date possible.
Today, our three countries adopted a vision for trilateral cooperation over the next 10 years. I hope that this will serve as a milestone, one that heralds a new era of peace and prosperity in East Asia and leads to a sustainable world.
The 9th Korea-China-Japan Summit will be held in Korea. As the next host nation, Korea will fulfill its obligations to ensure that the results of trilateral cooperation benefit the lives of our peoples.
Today’s summit brightened the future of our trilateral cooperation. Let me again thank Premier Li and the Chinese people for extending their hospitality.