On April 8, 2012, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said during the sixth meeting of foreign ministers of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) that the three countries should promote deeper level of pragmatic cooperation.
He noted that China, Japan and the ROK should make pioneering and innovative explorations to actively promote pragmatic cooperation, especially cooperation in key areas and on major projects. They should sign the trilateral investment agreement as soon as possible, launch the free trade area negotiations at an early date and push forward regional economic integration; deepen financial cooperation, maintain regional financial stability and boost East Asian fiscal and financial cooperation; step up cooperation on land-sea transport, logistics service, customs procedure and other trade facilitation measures and encourage business cooperation at local levels; speed up the construction of China-Japan-ROK cycling economy demonstration base.
He proposed that the three countries carry out more social and cultural exchanges, expand cooperation on culture, education, tourism and youth, encourage the media, think-tanks and the sport community to increase exchanges and enhance the understanding, trust and friendship among the people. The election of "city of East Asian culture" should be started, China-Japan-ROK culture and art festival should be held at an appropriate time, the Asian Campus university student exchange program should be carried out and tourism cooperation and local exchanges should be boosted.
He noted that ASEAN is an important development partner of the three countries and a major political force in East Asia. To help ASEAN members accelerate their development is of great significance to the long-term growth of the three countries and even the entire East Asian region. China, Japan and the ROK should join hands to support the development of ASEAN members and the ASEAN Community and strengthen cooperation with ASEAN on financial stability, food and energy security and disaster management.