The Department of Justice of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the Ministry of Justice of Japan on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to strengthen Hong Kong-Japan collaboration on international arbitration and mediation.

The MoC, signed here by HKSAR government’s Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng and Japanese Minister of Justice Takashi Yamashita, provided a framework for the two sides to strengthen communication, collaboration and cooperation on issues relating to international arbitration and mediation and to facilitate the development of services for international arbitration and mediation in the two places, the HKSAR government’s Department of Justice said.

Signing the MoC is an encouraging step in furthering legal cooperation between the two sides, Cheng said at the signing ceremony.

Hailing Hong Kong’s “fine reputation as a popular international hub of international commercial dispute resolution,” Yamashita said the document set the cornerstone for further cooperation on legal services between the two sides.

Cheng said her department had set up an office to enhance the overall coordination of mediation and arbitration work, taking into account the need for Hong Kong to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.