TOKYO -- As the first high-level economic dialogue in eight years between Japan and China nears, Tokyo is preparing to develop a framework for opening each country's service sector to the other. A cabinet-level meeting is due to start on Monday.
Japan wants to discuss how its nursing and eldercare industries can tap into the Chinese market, where demand is expected to rise. Clearing regulatory hurdles and finding local partners will be part of the discussions.
For China, services for distance learning and cashless payment could find ready markets in Japan.
Hiroshige Seko, Japan's trade minister, has already offered to establish a bilateral cooperation mechanism for services to his Chinese counterpart, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan. If the two nations agree on a plan, they are expected to exchange a memorandum of understanding as early as May.
Tokyo will propose policy dialogue on how to open each country to the other's services, as well as how to promote business collaboration and productivity.
Although a key goal of Tokyo is to open China to Japan's nursing care and welfare service providers, other services will also be mentioned, including preventative medicine and sports. Chinese demand for both is expected to grow as the country ages and there is more focus on health.
Another aim is to have Beijing relax regulations to create a stable business climate conducive to growth.
Tokyo will also propose to discuss ways of helping Chinese companies crack the Japanese market in areas such as computer-programming education and cashless settlement.
An additional proposal will call for promoting joint expansion of Chinese and Japanese service companies into other countries.
Companies in the two countries have cooperated in manufacturing and logistics in the past, but Tokyo and Beijing have yet to introduce measures promoting collaboration in the service sector.