Japan and China agreed Sunday to establish for the first time a working group to consider creating a legal framework and enforcing crackdowns to curb violations of intellectual property rights.
They also agreed to seek more leadership from the United States on advancing global trade liberalization talks, saying concluding them will benefit the administration of President Barack Obama, said Toshihiro Nikai, minister of economy, trade and industry.
A memorandum Nikai and Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming signed stipulates that the intellectual property working group meet once a year. Nikai asked that the working group convene its first meeting by the end of the year.
A 2004 study by the Japan Patent Office estimated Japanese companies' losses in China from pirated goods totaled about 9.3 trillion yen in terms of sales.
Nikai said he asked Chen to drop an envisaged compulsory certification system on information technology products made by foreign companies. Nikai proposed that China refer the case to an internationally mutual certification system.
Chen was quoted as telling Nikai that Beijing took note of Japan's high level of interest in the issue.
China says it will introduce the system next May for public procurement of foreign-made items such as computer security software. Japan, the United States and Europe are concerned that the practice would allow Beijing to obtain otherwise secret information about such products.
Nikai also voiced concern about China's curbs on exports of rare metals.
The two ministers met on the sidelines of the high-level Japan-China economic dialogue, where economic ministers and senior officials from both sides are focusing on steps to address the slumping global economy and to ensure food safety.
At the one-day gathering, Tokyo and Beijing will also discuss issues such as climate change, saving energy and environmental protection, according to Japanese officials.
The two are expected to issue several documents after the meeting, including one on bilateral tie-ups to help developing countries build infrastructure, the officials said.
Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone is representing Japan at the meeting, the second of its kind following the first session in December 2007 in Beijing. China is being represented by Vice Premier Wang Qishan.© Wire reports