Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, met in Tokyo on 29 May 2015 for the 23rd Summit between Japan and the European Union (EU) and issued the following joint statement.
Developing our Strategic Partnership
1. As close partners, Japan and the European Union are working together to address issues of vital importance to our citizens and the world based on common values and shared principles. We are conducting joint efforts to build peace, security and stability around the globe, by reinforcing our bilateral partnership and shouldering greater responsibilities for regional and global security. We are also negotiating landmark Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) /Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will deepen our cooperation and enhance our common prosperity.
2. Regular and substantial high-level meetings at summit and ministerial level drive our relations. We concurred today on an enhanced political dialogue on foreign and security policy at ministerial level. We will also intensify cooperation within the regional and inter-regional frameworks, such as the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Japan welcomes the EU’s continued interest in greater involvement in the East Asia Summit and acknowledges the EU’s effort to promote the rule of law in the region.
3. The SPA and EPA/ FTA hold the potential to lift our relations to a new strategic level. We welcome the progress made in both negotiations and task negotiators to further accelerate both processes in parallel. With the SPA, we are establishing a legally binding foundation for the coming decades. As strategic partners we want to consolidate, deepen and extend our cooperation to all areas of mutual interest, the bilateral issues but also the global challenges. Given our combined global economic weight and international standing, we have a common interest and responsibility to show joint leadership on these issues. To consolidate our solid and evolving trade and economic partnership and pave the way for the future, we reaffirm the importance of a highly comprehensive and ambitious EPA/ FTA to be concluded as soon as possible. Such agreement will address notably issues related to market access for goods, services and investment, procurement including railways, as well as those related to non-tariff measures and the protection of geographical indications as well as intellectual property rights. To this end we have entrusted our negotiators with the mandate to settle the outstanding differences with a view to reaching agreement encompassing all the key issues preferably by the end of 2015.
4. We endorsed a Joint Vision today to strengthen our Strategic Partnership in Research and Innovation, an engine for growth and job creation in our two economies. We also committed to cooperate on the research and development of the 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks together.
Acting together for global peace and security
5. 2015 marks the 70th year since the end of World War II and the 40th year since the conclusion of the Helsinki Final Act. In this context, we reflected on the importance of reconciliation and regional cooperation and recognised the contributions that both Japan and the EU have made to the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community over the last 70 years. We reaffirmed our commitment to further enhancing cooperation and collaboration in this field at both global and regional levels, based on the common values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and shared principles such as open markets and rules-based international system.
6. We welcome the expanding Japan-EU cooperation and partnership in the field of peace and security, including crisis management cooperation. The EU welcomes and supports the efforts of Japan in promoting and sustaining global security as set out in the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. We reviewed the successful cooperation over the last year between Japan and the EU on missions aimed at improving the security in Niger and Mali as well as efforts regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo. We committed to explore further cooperation in Ukraine and Somalia as a next step. A joint seminar of military and government staff in 2015 in Tokyo took stock of this positive track record we are building together, helped deepen mutual understanding on our respective security policies and explored future cooperation possibilities. We will continue such consultations and welcome the upcoming consultation between Ministry of Defense of Japan and the EU this year. We also discussed the possibility of future participation of Japan in CSDP missions, bearing in mind necessary steps to this end and the specific expertise that Japan has to offer in this area.
7. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and also condemn the recent attacks which have been carried out by terrorist groups, including ISIL/Da’esh, in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. We are working to support international cooperation to counter-terrorism, through the UN, the Global Counter-terrorism Forum, and the G7 and to implement fully the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. We will intensify Japan-EU counter-terrorism cooperation, seeking measures to mitigate risk and strengthen border security, while protecting human rights and personal data. We reaffirm the need to utilise all available tools to fight and prevent terrorism and to coordinate capacity building efforts with third states. We also stress the importance of preventing, detecting and prosecuting terrorism financing. We are determined to fight against the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, in accordance with resolution 2178 of the UN Security Council.
8. We emphasise the importance of ensuring the rule of law in global commons, namely cyber, outer space and the sea. In this context, we welcome the First Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue and Cyber Dialogue held in October 2014 in Tokyo where stakeholders shared respective policies and identified potential ways forward. Building on this common ground, including the safety and stability of cyberspace based on free flow of information and open internet, we look forward to the next Dialogues in Brussels in 2015, whereby security aspects could be addressed. We are strongly committed to finalise negotiations on the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities by the end of 2015. We welcome continuing concrete cooperation in anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden within the relevant International Contact Group and through operational activities between the deployed units of Japan Self-Defense Forces and the EU’s Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR)-Operation ATALANTA. This includes joint exercises at sea as well as the support offered by Japan for the trial of suspected pirates currently held in the Seychelles
9. We reaffirm our determination to further cooperate on disarmament and non-proliferation in order to realise our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Despite the absence of a consensus outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference, Japan and the EU remain committed to cooperate to maintain and strengthen the credibility of the NPT regime and sustain the trust for multilateralism. We also continue to work towards the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the early commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive devices. We welcome the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty and remain committed to promoting its effective implementation and universalisation. We are committed to ensuring strict export control of arms and dual-use items and technologies, especially with regard to areas of tension.
10. Mindful of the uncertainties in the regional security environment, we condemn all violations of international law and of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. We underline the need for all parties to seek peaceful, and cooperative solutions to maritime claims, including through internationally recognised legal dispute settlement mechanisms, and to maintain full freedom of navigation and overflight of the high seas under international law as enshrined in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. The safety of navigation is essential for peaceful and sustainable development. We urge all parties to clarify the basis of their claims based on international law, and to refrain from unilateral actions, including the threat or use of force and coercion. We continue to observe the situation in the East and South China Sea and are concerned by any unilateral actions that change the status quo and increase tensions. We support the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the rapid conclusion of the negotiations to establish an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. We highlight the constructive role of practical confidence-building measures, such as the establishment of direct links of communication in cases of crisis and crisis management mechanisms in this regard.
11. We express our grave concern on the North Korea‘s continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and urge the North Korea to comply with its obligations under all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and its commitment under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, to return to full compliance with the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and to take immediate steps to end human rights violations, including the abductions issue. We urge North Korea to make constructive efforts to these ends.
12. We call on all sides to fully implement their commitment under the Minsk agreements to solve the conflict in Ukraine peacefully, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We remain determined never to recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and will continue to support the government of Ukraine to advance its reforms, aimed at strengthening and modernising Ukraine for the benefit of its citizens. We will also continue to coordinate our policies and explore new opportunities for cooperation aimed at the modernisation of countries in the context of the EU’s Eastern Partnership, as well as in the Western Balkans and the Black Sea region.
13. We express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Syria and reaffirm that only a Syrian-led inclusive political transition, based on the Geneva communiqué and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, can put an end to the conflict. We call on all Syrian parties to show commitment to a political process, which must be accompanied by confidence building measures. We commit to continue our support for Iraq to defeat ISIL/Da’esh. We also encourage all Iraqis to actively work for national reconciliation and to continue the path of reforms promoting more inclusive governance. In response to the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Yemen, we call on all parties to commit to the restart of a comprehensive political transition process through the UN-led negotiations and without resorting to violence. We welcome the important progress in the intensive diplomatic efforts at reaching solutions on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iranian nuclear issues. We reaffirm that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict; only a political settlement can provide a sustainable way forward. We call on the Libyan parties to do their utmost in order to find a common understanding based the proposal for a political agreement presented by UNSMIL on 27 April. We believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through negotiations, the outcome of which would see the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side peacefully and in mutual recognition. We would be ready to boost our respective relations with both parties, notably economically, to help them reap the full benefits of any peaceful settlement. Again this highlighted our shared conviction that international disputes and issues should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. We express our concern about the continuation of settlement policy, which threatens the two State solution. We call on both parties to take the measures in order to relaunch the negotiations.
Fostering growth, prosperity and sustainable development
14. We recognise the serious and urgent challenge posed by climate change. We are resolved to play our part in concluding this December in Paris a global Agreement applicable to all Parties that is ambitious, robust, inclusive and reflects changing global circumstances putting the world on track to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Agreement must include adequate provisions on the transparency and accountability of all Parties towards their commitments. While delivering on the ultimate objective of the Convention, it must also address adaptation to climate change impacts and help mobilise climate finance on the required transformational scale including effective utilisation of Green Climate Funds. It should also spur international cooperation to help Parties deliver on their commitments. We for our part intend to strengthen our bilateral cooperation on climate and energy, notably through the SPA, and to work together ever closer in the relevant international fora.
15. We will deliver on our existing climate pledges and continue to look for further pre-2020 mitigation opportunities. Looking beyond 2020 and determined to show leadership in the global effort towards the below 2°C goal, the EU explained the timeliness and ambition of its intended nationally determined contribution to the new Agreement, and Japan affirmed that it intends to submit an ambitious contribution expeditiously. We commend those Parties that have submitted their contributions, especially those Parties with the least responsibilities and capabilities. We call on all others, and particularly on major and emerging economies, to submit theirs expeditiously, to base them on fairness and the requirements of science and to present them in a way promoting transparency and accountability.
16. We recognise the importance of a secure, sustainable, affordable and safe supply of energy and are resolved to use various greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures to realise a low carbon and climate-friendly economy. As both Japan and the EU are critically dependent on external energy sources, we intend to strengthen our cooperation including through Japan-EU energy policy dialogue on issues that are important for securing sustainable energy supply. We welcome the joint statement of the G7 Energy Ministerial meeting in Hamburg (11-12 May 2015). We will strengthen our partnership in fusion energy research through the multilateral ITER Project and the bilateral Broader Approach Activities for the next step towards the realisation of fusion energy, as well as on fission research and development.
17. We reiterate the need for gender equality and the importance of women’s full participation in society and the economy. We will strengthen our cooperation to promote the empowerment of women and the advancement of women’s rights globally. We concur on fostering cooperation towards a society with equal opportunities for women, including through World Assembly for Women in Tokyo. The EU welcomes Japan’s focus on empowerment of women and is ready to share examples of good practice in this area. We also emphasise the importance of promoting women’s active and meaningful participation globally to achieve sustainable peace and security as well as sustainable development.
18. As leading development donors and partners, we remain fully committed to agreeing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda that will coherently address poverty eradication and sustainable development. Such an agenda must also promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights where the aspect of human security is essential and without which sustainable development cannot happen. It should end extreme poverty, building on and completing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals. We will continue to strive jointly to achieve a transformative outcome at the September 2015 Summit, to which we expect all other partners – including emerging economies – to contribute their fair share. Recognising that tackling infrastructure shortfalls in the world effectively is crucial to lifting growth, we are committed to promoting quality infrastructure investment including through effective resource mobilisation in partnership with relevant stakeholders such as multilateral development banks and the private sector. Bilaterally, Japan and the EU have cooperated closely in the past on the nexus of security and sustainable development, such as through trust funds in countries like Afghanistan. Building on last year’s Japan-EU Development Policy Dialogue, we welcome progress in trilateral cooperation activities in Africa, such as Djibouti, Kenya and Zambia and we are exploring future cooperation possibilities in Africa and Asia for enhanced quality growth and human security.
19. We welcome the success of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. We will continue our close exchange of practices and views on this issue, including the recent earthquakes in Nepal, and reiterate the importance of incorporating disaster risk reduction measures into both development programmes and humanitarian assistance. In this context, we decided to organise an expert meeting on humanitarian assistance and emergency relief.
20. We consider that trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling – by sea, land and air alike – are forms of crime and severe violation of human rights. We aim to combat them and to address the political and socio-economic drivers of irregular migration. We underline the responsibility of the countries of origin, transit and destination to cooperate to prevent smuggling, human trafficking and forced labour, to disrupt the involved criminal groups and to eliminate their financing opportunities. We stand ready to assist the committed countries in this endeavour. We call upon all states to promote international efforts to this end, including by promoting relevant international agreements.
21. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen the multilateral trading system under the WTO by concluding the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), based on the principles of balance and realism. We are also committed to attain concrete outcomes of plurilateral negotiations, including the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), which will strengthen the multilateral trading system. We emphasise our determination to combat all forms of protectionism.
22. We have established a Strategic Partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation in order to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness and address common challenges in our societies. Recognising the expanding cooperation in this area since the last Summit, we endorsed today the Joint Vision towards a new strategic partnership in Research and Innovation between the Government of Japan and the European Commission as adopted by the 3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation. We highlighted thematic areas where we will see substantial and growing Japan-EU cooperation – ICT, aeronautics and materials including critical raw materials – as well as health, environment, energy and high-energy physics. We confirmed the importance of specific actions that will continue this positive momentum, such as establishing a new mechanism for the joint funding of research and innovation projects, and taking measures to enhance the mobility of researchers between Japan and the EU, including the new ERC-JSPS cooperation arrangement. We recognised the importance of exchanging views and coordinating where possible on Science, Technology and Innovation policies such as Open Science. We also acknowledged the positive role of the Horizon 2020 National Contact Point in Japan and the value of outreach activities to promote public understanding and engagement in our cooperation.
23. We are committed to reviewing scientifically the remaining restrictive measures for radionuclides in food and feed exportation from Japan, in particular those from Fukushima, and African Swine Fever, BSE and Avian Influenza-related measures on pork, beef and poultry products from the European Union.
24. Solid Japan-EU dialogue and cooperation across a broad range of sectors drive our Strategic Partnership along. We welcome the recent developments in the following sectors, including the successful dialogues held since the last Summit in Industry, ICT, Transport and Employment:
– The Japan-EU Industrial Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 put an emphasis on deepening regulatory cooperation involving both government and business, which was also welcomed by the Japan-EU Business Round Table. We express our great expectation for further progress in regulatory cooperation between Japan and the EU, while noting that the cooperation is also to be dealt with via the EPA/FTA negotiations.
– The Japan-EU ICT Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 reaffirmed the importance of developing and ensuring open and innovative digital economy based on multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. We welcome the signature of the EU-Japan Joint Declaration on 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks (5G) that will enhance cooperation to ensure global interoperability and strengthen collaboration on research activities.
– The Japan-EU Railway Industrial Dialogue held in December 2014 and May 2015 discussed global business opportunities in the railway sector. We recognise the value of enhanced cooperation, including on technical standards, both between the public authorities and business representatives of two of the world leading players in this sector. We are confident that the dialogue can lead to enhanced openness of our respective markets and to joint actions in the global market.
– The Japan-EU Symposium on Employment held in June 2014 deepened understanding on “Anticipating restructuring in a changing world of work” and “Managing restructuring and facing up to future challenges” among the government, worker, and employer representatives in Japan and the EU.
– The ongoing Japan-EU aviation dialogue, initiated in October 2012, will be crucial for fostering joint efforts towards a solid partnership in this field.
– Japan and EU will continue cooperation in sustainable management of forestry and sustainable use of fishery resources and in combating illegal trade in wildlife products bilaterally or through multilateral organisations.
We also recognise the importance of active and continued contribution of the Business Round Table to further development of bilateral economic relationship, and welcome the recommendations it adopted in April 2015.
Deepening mutual understanding for future cooperation
25. We acknowledge that people-to-people and cultural exchange, and cooperation in higher education are vitally important to deepen mutual understanding, foster intellectual exchanges and engage broader public. The EU Erasmus+ programme and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions offer new scope for EU-Japan mobility of excellent students, researchers and staff. Prime Minister Abe announced the Japan-Europe MIRAI programme to invite 150 university/ post-graduate European students to Japan within the fiscal year 2015 and the EU leaders welcomed the prospect of further partnership-building. We also recognise the importance of exchange between civil society and cultural operators on both sides, including mutual support to promote student exchanges. We welcome parliamentary exchanges, such as the fruitful 35th Japan-EU Interparliamentary Meeting held last month.