Opening speech at a discussion meeting of Korea-China-Japan Intellectuals Club
Venue Seoul Global Center
Director Liu Debin of at the Institute of International Studies at Jilin University, Vice Director Liu Jiangyong of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, Director Kimiya Tadashi of the Center for Contemporary Korean Studies at the University of Tokyo, Professor Isozaki Noriyo of Kakuin University, Director Lee Won-deok of the Institute of Japanese Studies at Kookmin University, and Director Lee Hui-ok of the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies at Sungkyunkwan University,
How are you? I am honored to be here today. Thank you very much for attending this meeting.
I think that it is very meaningful to have an opportunity like this to discuss the need for the establishment of a future-oriented partnership between Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo today by inviting experts of our three countries here today.
The population of our three countries totals 1,530 million, a quarter of the world’s population. In terms of GDP, the three countries account for a fifth of the world, or the third largest economy after only NAFTA and the EU. It comes to about 90% of all of East Asia. Foreign reserves of our three countries combined come to about half of that of the entire world. The region will become the core axis of the world through friendly exchanges and genuine collaboration between our three countries.
I hope that this discussion meeting will produce ideas that can contribute to peaceful coexistence and prosperity in Northeast Asia through the establishment of a body for discussion regarding urban problems faced by Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo.
Seoul and Beijing have engaged in exchanges and collaboration in diverse areas since they signed an agreement for sisterly ties in 1993. In 2013, the two cities launched a council for discussion about matters concerning economy, culture, education, and environment. Seoul and Tokyo established sisterly ties in 1988 and have engaged in friendly exchanges since then. The two cities are collaborating in many areas including urban safety, environment, culture, and tourism. Tokyo Governor Masuzoe Yoichi’s visit to Seoul scheduled for July this year is expected to strengthen our relationship of collaboration further.
Our three cities will be able to work more efficiently to find solutions to problems facing all of us through the establishment of a tripartite partnership relationship among us. This relationship will also contribute to the growth and development of the region as a whole.
I kindly ask the experts participating in this meeting to come up with suggestions for tripartite collaboration in matters like air pollution, aging society, and tourism, problems faced by each of our three cities, and for collaboration among the three cities for the establishment of a future-oriented partnership.
We at the Seoul Metropolitan Government will do what we can to have what is discussed at this meeting reflected in the establishment of our urban diplomacy policies.