Japan, China and South Korea hold high-level energy talks

Mar 04, 2002 01:00 AM

Japan, China and South Korea held high-level talks along with top officials from international energy-related groups, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said. The official refrained from disclosing in detail the contents of the unofficial talks, held over breakfast at a Tokyo hotel. But they said the participants held frank discussions and agreed to continue the dialogue.

The meeting was hosted by Shinichi Kitajima, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Economic Affairs Bureau. China was represented by Song Chaoyi, deputy director general of the Basic Industries Development Planning Commission, and South Korea by Im Hong Jae, director general of the International Economic Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry.
Robert Priddle, executive director of the International Energy Agency, and Ria Kemper, secretary general of the Energy Charter's Secretariat, also took part in the hour-long talks, held ahead of the Seminar on Energy Security in Asia. The talks were part of proposals by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during last December's summit in Brunei among the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, China and South Korea.

At the time, Koizumi said the trilateral cooperation in the field of energy is important for bolstering energy security in Northeast Asia. In the energy security seminar at the same hotel, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi called for joint regional efforts to strengthen the energy security situation, which has become a "pressing issue" in the region.
"Asia, a region which encompasses both net energy exporting and importing countries, has room for enhanced interdependency through increased energy trade and further cooperation in the field of energy," Kawaguchi said. "Japan believes that it is realistic and effective to make use of the existing ASEAN-plus-three framework, which comprises key countries from both Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia and which has the potential to develop further in the future," she said.

The one-day seminar, also proposed by Koizumi in Brunei, aims to examine the areas of possible cooperation in the field of energy under the framework of ASEAN and its three Northeast Asian partners, with a view to strengthening energy security in Asia.
The event featured speeches on various energy issues. These include the energy outlook in Asia, perspectives from both producing and consuming countries, emergency preparedness and the future direction of ASEAN-plus-three energy cooperation.

Source: Kyodo
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