"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] Seventh EU-Japan Summit Meeting

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] 12 January 1998
[Source] European Union
[Full text]

Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Tony Blair, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, met in Tokyo on 12 January 1998 for the Seventh Summit between Japan and the European Union.

They welcomed the further development of Japan-EU relations since their Summit in The Hague in 1997 and emphasised that through dialogue and cooperation, they would seek to take advantage of new opportunities to achieve common goals in regional and world affairs.

EU and Japan expressed confidence in Asia's long term economic prospects - the fundamentals of the Asian economy appear basically sound, but recognised that the current instability in Asian financial and stock markets continues to have considerable repercussions on the regional and global economy. Both sides emphasised the importance in the current circumstances of timely and effective support to back up the reform efforts of Asian countries to restore stability and economic confidence through appropriate macroeconomic management, financial sector restructuring and improved financial supervision, trade liberalization including the promotion of open financial markets, deregulation and other structural measures (such as human resource development, small and medium sized enterprises development). It was recognised that the prompt and full implementation of economic reform measures will enhance their prospects of success. Both sides expressed their determination to cooperate closely together through multilateral financial institutions, in particular the IMF, World Bank and the ADB, in order to support these efforts.

The Japanese side explained that its economic policy was designed to revitalize its economy, to restore the stability of its financial system and stated also its determination to continue the deregulation process. The Japanese side recognised the especially important role that its economic performance would play in sustaining growth and financial stability within the Asian region and in the global economy. The EU side expressed confidence in the fundamental strength of the Japanese economy and welcomed the Japanese explanation that these goals would be achieved through the implementation of effective and timely economic measures.

The EU side outlined the progress made towards achieving Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the process of enlarging the EU. It was explained that a successful EMU, supported by sound macroeconomic and structural policies, and the enlargement of the EU would contribute to growth and stability in Europe with favorable effects for the rest of the world. The Japanese side welcomed the explanation and the efforts the EU is making to achieve EMU and enlargement , expressing the view that these efforts should proceed in a way which benefits the international community as a whole.

Participants confirmed their intention to continue their dialogue on macroeconomic issues including their discussions on EMU-related matters. In addition, they will cooperate to help their business communities fully prepare to seize the opportunities to be presented by the introduction of the euro.

Both sides noted that, with the advancement of globalisation, respective economic conditions surrounding Japan and the European Union have become closely interdependent and have significant impact on each other, and, in the light of this, they stressed the need to deepen their dialogue.

Political Dialogue

Participants welcomed the improved opportunities for political dialogue resulting in a more frank and productive exchange of views and more effective response to international developments.

Both sides confirmed that they would contribute to forging closer links between Russia and the rest of the international community.

They confirmed their commitment to facilitate the peace process in former Yugoslavia and stressed the importance of the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and their readiness to contribute to the reconstruction process.

Both sides stressed the importance of continuing support for the Middle East Peace Process. They confirmed that they would continue to encourage Iran to modify its policies through engagement and would call on Iraq to comply with all of its obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions.

They will actively contribute to UN efforts to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan.

Both sides will work for China's further integration into the international community. They welcome the smooth progress in Hong Kong since 1 July under the concept of "one country, two systems," and will together promote cooperation with HKSAR.

They confirmed the importance of achieving permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, to facilitate the establishment of an intra-Korean dialogue and to encourage North Korea to continue to participate constructively in the Four-Party Talks. They emphasised the importance of continued support for KEDO.

Both sides will cooperate for a successful second ASEM Summit in April and will promote positive dialogue, cooperation and people to people exchanges between Asia and Europe through ASEM.

They emphasised the need for the restoration of peace in Cambodia and urged the Cambodian authorities to ensure free and fair elections this year and respect their undertaking to guarantee the safety of returning politicians. They are cooperating over the provision of international assistance to the electoral process.

They called on SPDC in Burma/Myanmar to engage in substantive dialogue with opposition groups in the interests of national reconciliation.

Both sides shared the view that reform of the various aspects of the United Nations should be realised in a balanced manner. Both sides also confirmed their support for early implementation of the Secretary-General's reform proposals. They will also work together for a solution to the UN's financial difficulties.

Both sides support initiatives including the Japanese initiative in the United Nations, regarding small arms, and will exchange information to facilitate complementary policies aimed at tackling the illicit trafficking and other issues concerning small arms.

Economic Relations

Both sides welcomed the successful resolution of a number of bilateral trade disputes in 1997, and stressed the importance of solving other disputes in a spirit of cooperation in accordance with international agreements and political commitments.

The EU side pointed to the sharp increase in external surpluses in Japan over the last year. The Japanese side explained that this increase is expected to be reduced in the medium to long term through structural reforms leading to strong domestic demand-led growth.

Acknowledging their efforts to further promote their two-way trade and investment, both sides reaffirmed their determination to pursue policies to provide a favourable environment for foreign investment.

Both sides acknowledged the vital role that deregulation plays in stimulating economic activities and growth by removing structural and regulatory obstacles. In this context, the Japanese side explained its decision to establish a new three-year deregulation programme starting from fiscal year 1998 as well as to set up a new ad hoc commission for the promotion of deregulation composed mainly of the eminent persons from private sector. The EU side welcomed the decision to launch a further deregulation programme and looked forward to its early implementation across broad sectors of the Japanese economy. In this context, the EU side emphasised the importance of deregulation for improving market access. Both sides highlighted the importance of drawing from their accumulated experiences on deregulation in the course of further deepening their two-way deregulation dialogue.

Both sides welcomed the progress achieved in MRA Talks since the last Summit meeting and reaffirmed the importance of accelerating and intensifying work with a view to arriving at an MRA with broad coverage as soon as possible.

The EU side welcomed the Japanese Government's efforts towards accession to the UN ECE 1958 Agreement on motor vehicles regulations in 1998 and looked forward to further enhancing its cooperation with Japan in this area.

Both sides will, where appropriate, cooperate to ensure that intellectual property rights are adequately and effectively protected world-wide and that commitments to this end are fully respected.

Both sides recognised the need to exchange views and experiences on the opportunities and challenges presented by electronic commerce, with a view to developing future cooperation.

Building upon the achievements of 50 years of trade liberalization under the multilateral trading system and most recently the successful conclusion of the WTO financial services negotiations, both sides are determined to work together to reinforce the system and to pursue further broad-based multilateral trade liberalization under the WTO. As a part of such joint efforts, both sides will seek to bring the WTO Ministerial Conference in May to a success, reaffirm their commitment to fully respect the WTO built-in agenda provisions and timetable, and give impetus to the Work Programme, notably in the field of investment, competition policy, transparency in government procurement and trade facilitation. Both sides will also work together to enhance the universality of the WTO by continuing to promote accession of all applicants including China and Russia to the WTO on commercially viable terms, and also by continuing to promote the better integration of the Least Developed Countries in world trade. Both sides reaffirmed the primacy of the multilateral trading system and that regional integration should be outward looking, while being consistent with WTO rules.

Both sides stressed the importance of cooperating closely for the success of the negotiations aimed at concluding a Multilateral Agreement on Investment(MAI) in time for the 1998 OECD Council at Ministerial level.

Both sides also affirmed their intention to encourage focused and high-value business input with a view to responding more effectively to the changes in their respective economic situations.

Japan-EU Cooperation

Japan-EU cooperation has been developed in a wide variety of areas and both sides expressed their intention to further broaden and deepen their activities. Both sides acknowledged that the Japan-EU Cooperation Week had served to increase the awareness of key elements of Japan-EU relations. The EU side confirmed its intention to organise follow-up events. Both sides will take further steps to enhance the visibility of Japan-EU relations.

< Landmines >

Following the successful Ottawa Conference, both sides confirmed their intention to cooperate in various relevant fora to realise a universal and effective total ban on anti-personnel mines. They supported the need to strengthen international action in the field of mine clearance and assistance to victims. Both sides have therefore decided to enhance international coordination including in the UN framework and to explore possibilities for concrete cooperation in mine-afflicted countries making full use of structures such as mine action centres.

< Development Assistance >

Both sides shared the view that it is important for leading donors to cooperate for the efficient and effective implementation of assistance to developing countries, focusing on those countries which are pursuing sound economic policies and political reform within the framework of an integrated approach which takes into account the greatest development needs, economic as well as social. Both sides also confirmed that the "Second Tokyo International Conference on Africa" in October 1998 will provide an important opportunity for taking forward New Development Strategy of the DAC including poverty reduction targets and other internationally recognised aid targets. They also decided to hold the next meeting of aid policy consultations in the course of this year.

They attach particular importance to local coordination on Japan-EU aid in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the promotion of such cooperation on individual projects where appropriate.

In the field of humanitarian assistance, both sides intended to make further efforts to promote cooperation including experts' meetings.

< Social Protection and Employment >

Building on the discussion at the Kobe Jobs Conference in November 1997, both sides will work together at the G8 Conference on "Growth, Employability and Inclusion" to be held in London next month and at the G8 Summit in Birmingham. Both sides shared the view that as a step to realise the "Initiative for a Caring World", they should further promote their exchanges in the policy area of social protection including issues relating to the aging society, making use of such fora as OECD, notably the Ministerial Meeting on Social Policy convened in June 1998.

< Environment Cooperation >

Welcoming the successful outcome of the recent third Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, both sides recognised that the eventual success of Kyoto Protocol is linked to the detailed implementation of the arrangements agreed at Kyoto and further progress in building international consensus on the participation of developing countries. Both sides expressed their determination to broaden cooperation in the fields of environment and sustainable development. They welcomed the prospect of widening and deepening the coverage of the Japan EU High Level Consultation on the environment.

Both sides will further strengthen and enhance their cooperation in such areas as energy, science, research and technology, higher education and contacts between young Japanese and Europeans.

Both sides shared the view that the preparatory process for long term, stable cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be expedited.

Both sides will promote cooperation in ASEM on money laundering and foster the development of appropriate regional groups to tackle this threat. They will encourage discussion on cooperation at the Asia Pacific Group meeting in March in Tokyo and at the ASEM summit in April.