"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Joint Press Statement, 5th Japan-EU Summit

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] 30 September 1996
[Source] European Union
[Full text]

Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. John Bruton T.D., President of the European Council, and Mr. Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, met in Tokyo on 30September 1996 for the fifth summit meeting between Japan and the European Union. They have issued the following statement.

Dialogue and co-operation

1. The participants in the fifth EU-Japan summit, in reviewing events since the previous EU-Japan summit meeting in Paris on 19 June last year, expressed satisfaction with the recent development of the bilateral relationship. They emphasized its importance and reiterated their intention to continue to work towards closer and ever more harmonious relations based on dialogue and co-operation. They also discussed international affairs and global issues.

2. They confirmed their commitment to the terms of the "Joint Declaration on the relations between the European Community and its Member States and Japan in the Hague" issued on 18 July1991 as well as the importance of making full and regular use of the institutional framework as foreseen therein. They also underlined the continuing relevance of the joint press statement of the1995 EU-Japan Paris summit for the bilateral relationship.

Strengthening political bonds

3. They noted the progress made in the political dialogue and welcomed, in particular, the intensification of this dialogue at working group level on various regional issues. They reaffirmed that democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing and looked forward to continued co-operation between them on these matters through dialogue.

4. Recent developments in the area of security and international political relations call for a more prominent role to be played by the EU and Japan. They shared the view that enhancing co-operation between both sides in this area will make an important contribution to international stability and the building of trust. They expressed their shared interest in ensuring peace and security in Asia and Europe.

5.The EU side welcomed the involvement of Japan in the efforts to build a stable peace in former Yugoslavia and, in particular, its contributions to reconstruction assistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Japan welcomed the initial contribution by the EU to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) and expressed its desire that the EU should join KEDO and makes a further financial contribution at an early date. Both sides stressed the importance - at this critical juncture in the Middle East Peace Process - of advancing the negotiations and shared a desire to work closely in this area.

6. They confirmed the necessity to continue their support for the reform process and the consolidation of democracy in Russia. They also shared the view that full normalization of Japan-Russia relations based on the Tokyo Declaration is important to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. The EU welcomed Japan's contribution in supporting political and economic reforms in central and eastern European countries. Both sides also confirmed the necessity to enhance the progress of democratization and improvement of the human rights situation in Myanmar. Japan welcomed Europe's development aid and assistance to reforms in a number of Asian countries as a contribution towards enhanced stability in that region. Both sides reaffirmed that the success of these reforms towards democracy and a market economy is important for the stability of Europe, Asia and the world.

7. They reaffirmed the need to actively contribute to seeking ways in which the United Nations system can be adapted and strengthened to successfully meet the challenges, responsibilities and opportunities it faces in the new millennium. Both sides shared the view that the 51st Session of the General Assembly must be used to carry forward and bring to fruition the urgent and fundamental task of adaptation, reform and restructuring of the United Nations.

8. Both sides warmly welcomed the adoption and opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). They shared the view that the new Treaty marked a concrete step toward the achievement of one of the highest priority objectives of the international community in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, and the fulfillment of the obligations under Article VI of the NPT. They shared the view that the conclusion of the CTBT should be followed by negotiations on a cut-off treaty at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to advance the process of nuclear disarmament. They reaffirmed their commitment to the objectives set out in the document on Principles and Objectives for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament adopted at the conclusion of the NPT Review and Extension Conference. They confirmed their intention to increase efforts in promoting disarmament as well as preventing the proliferation of other weapons of mass destruction and in promoting an early entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention with ratification by a large number of States. They also confirmed the necessity to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention.

9. The two sides affirmed their shared commitment to the goal of the total elimination of anti-personnel landmines and their desire to work actively for the achievement at the earliest possible date of an effective international agreement to ban these weapons worldwide. They also attached importance to further restrictions, particularly on the proliferation and use of anti-personal landmines, and to reinforcing international support for landmine detection and removal efforts and for assistance to victims.

10. Both sides noted with satisfaction the success of the first Asia-Europe meeting in Bangkok in March 1996 and the importance of successful follow-up. The EU welcomed Japan's role as a coordinator of ASEM. Both sides emphasized their intention to work closely together in preparing the follow-up to the first ASEM held in Bangkok and the second ASEM to be held in London in1998.

Improving trade & investment relations and enhancing economic co-operation

11. The participants reviewed the current state of the economies of Japan and the EU, which make up about half of the world economy. They explained their economic policies and reform efforts to improve the prospects for their economies. Japan explained that deregulation is one of the priority areas of such efforts. Recalling the joint press statement issued at the Paris Summit, both sides confirmed their willingness to pursue their dialogue on deregulation and contribute to each other's efforts.

12. Both sides welcomed recent positive trends in bilateral trade. The Japanese side welcomed the efforts made by the EU towards further improvement of European participation in the Japanese market. The EU expressed its appreciation for the co-operation and continuing efforts by the Japanese side for the furthering of EU imports into Japan: in this context, both sides recognized the importance of thorough understanding of each other's markets and noted that the objective analysis which they carried out in the relevant framework served significantly to this end. Both sides noted that problems and imbalances between Japan and EU persist and confirmed that they both intend to continue efforts to find common solutions to market access problems.

13. They discussed the suggestion to set up an expert dialogue on distribution for the purpose of furthering mutual understanding, and shared the view that its preparations should be rapidly completed.

14. Both sides shared the view that an increase of the level of inward foreign direct investment in Japan by European companies would be to the benefit of both sides. The European side commended the Japan Investment Council for its activities and would welcome implementation of policy measures in order to enhance inward direct investment. The European side also underlined its desire to see more Japanese direct investment in the EU and stressed its efforts to attract Japanese direct investment.

15. The two reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the open multilateral trading system, noting the central role of the WTO and pre-eminence of multilateral rules. They emphasized their intention to work together to make the WTO Singapore Ministerial Conference (SMC) a success. They shared the view that the SMC should attain progress in the following areas: the implementation of the Uruguay Round agreements, the "built-in agenda", "Trade and Environment", further trade liberalization, including the successful conclusion of the ITA, and new issues, particularly "trade and investment" and "trade and competition policy". They shared the determination to exert leadership in order to secure agreements in the on-going negotiations on basic tel.-communications. They were satisfied with the roles they had played in achieving an interim agreement on financial services, and expressed their resolve to achieve a more permanent agreement with fuller participation of all relevant parties. They emphasized the essential importance of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism for a fair and effective international trading system. They recognized the primacy of multilateral rules and underlined the necessity to ensure strict consistency of regional integration with the WTO agreement. Both sides reaffirmed the crucial importance of the full participation of all major trading partners in the system. They expressed support for China's accession to the WTO and confirmed their intention to work closely together towards this end. They also recognized the importance of assisting developing countries to fully integrate themselves into the open multilateral trading system.

Widening and deepening of co-operation

16. Both sides shared the recognition that there has been an increasing number of co-operative activities between the European Union and Japan, including industrial co-operation, transport, competition policy, science and technology, information and telecommunications, social affairs, environment, ODA, culture and education, which have helped to further underpin their bilateral relations.

17. They noted, however, that more should be done to highlight this element of their bilateral relationship to the general public. In this connection, both sides noted the progress that had been made in preparing the EU-Japan Co-operation event in Tokyo in 1997, proposed by the EU at the Paris Summit.

18. On industrial co-operation, both sides welcomed the opening of a branch of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Co-operation in Brussels in June 1996, and the increased range of industrial co-operation initiatives such as the meetings between Japanese automobile producers and European auto component industries.

19. The EU side expressed its interest in the "Initiative for a Caring World", which Japan has proposed and both sides confirmed their intention to co-operate together in further exploring theInitiative.

20. Concerning development, both sides recalled the conclusions of the G7 Summit in Lyon and the OECD's Development Assistance Committee Report "Shaping the 21st Century: The Contribution of Development Co-operation". They recognized the importance of an appropriate follow-up. In this context, they emphasized the importance of strengthened aid co-ordination between them, including the possibility of joint activities. The continued importance of Humanitarian Aid in the face of recurring mass flight from war and disaster zones was recognized by both sides. They recognized the need to work towards increased EU-Japan co-operation in this area.

21. The issue of food security was also recognized as an area in which enhanced EU-Japan co-operation would be beneficial. They shared their intention to increase co-ordination between both sides in the preparation of the World Food Summit.

22. Both sides concurred on the necessity for further co-operation in the area of environmental protection, in particular to ensure the success of the 3rd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto next year.

23. Both sides confirmed their intention to work together within the existing for in the fight against international organized crime, including drug related crime. They also noted the existing cooperation in the customs field and confirmed their intention to further enhance this cooperation, including in the prevention of illicit trade of drugs and firearms.