On Dec.13, 2008, a landmark tripartite summit meeting of the heads of government of Japan, South Korea, and China took place in Japan at Dazaifu, in Fukuoka Prefecture. Japan’s Prime Minister Aso Taro hosted China’s Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak for the first stand-alone trilateral summit between the leaders of the three East Asian powers. In the joint statement at the conclusion of the meeting the leaders claimed that they had opened a new era in cooperative relations that would lead to peace and development in the region. Significantly, they agreed to institutionalize the new relationship through annual summits based on the principles of openness, transparency, mutual trust, common benefit, and respect for diverse cultures. A comprehensive action plan was adopted to further functional cooperation at all levels of trilateral interaction. The next summit is to be held in China.