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22nd EU-Japan Summit Joint Press Statement

EU News 204/2014

Brussels, 7 May 2014
(OR. en)

~ The EU and Japan: Acting together for Global Peace and Prosperity ~

Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, Mr. José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan met in Brussels on 7 May 2014 for the 22nd Summit between the European Union (EU) and Japan, and issued the following joint statement.

1. We, the leaders of the European Union and Japan, met today in Brussels to build on our existing, excellent cooperation and enhance our partnership.  Our strong, longstanding and dynamic relationship is founded on the common values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and shared principles such as open markets and a rules-based international system.


2. Building on these common values and shared principles, we seek to expand and strengthen our wider partnership and to face together evolving global challenges.  Recalling the longstanding strategic partnership between the EU and Japan, we reaffirm our commitment to concluding a Strategic Partnership Agreement with a comprehensive coverage as a sound structure for deeper political, global and sectoral cooperation over the coming decades.  To fulfil this commitment, we task negotiators to maintain ambition and to complete the negotiations as rapidly as possible.

3. We reaffirm the importance of strengthening the trade and economic relationship between the EU and Japan, and of the early conclusion of a highly comprehensive and ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA)/ Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which would play a vital role in this regard, notably by addressing issues related to market access for goods, services and investment, procurement, including railways, and non-tariff measures. We welcome the fact that market access offers have been exchanged on trade in goods, and that steady progress has been made in other areas as well. We reiterated our commitment to a rapid exchange of ambitious market access offers on procurement and on trade in services and investment.

4. We welcome recent signs of improvement in the global economy, in particular reviving growth in the EU and the Euro area and continued growth in Japan.  We acknowledge progress on key EU economic policy priorities, namely, implementing structural reforms aimed at fostering competitiveness, growth and jobs and strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union.  We note the achievements of "Abenomics", the economic policies of the Abe Administration, and have exchanged views on the outlook for the Japanese economy in view of a reinforced Growth Strategy, aimed inter alia at bold regulatory and structural reform.

5. We recognise the active and continued contribution of the EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT) to further development of bilateral economic relationship, and reaffirm our determination to promote cooperation with the business communities on both sides, notably through the BRT, in order to strengthen relations further with the intention of addressing a wide variety of global challenges. We welcome the recommendations adopted by the BRT in April that “reiterate its calls that the EU and Japanese Authorities should step up their efforts to tackle and resolve the substance of the outstanding issues”, which should include tariffs, non-tariff measures, procurement, investment, services, competition, intellectual property rights, geographical indications and regulatory cooperation, “and that a comprehensive, ambitious, high-level and mutually beneficial FTA/EPA should be concluded as soon as possible”. We are also strongly encouraged by the BRT’s commitment to make every effort to support the early realisation of an EU-Japan FTA/EPA.

6. We highly value the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between the countries of Asia and Europe.  We look forward to addressing, with other ASEM members, issues of common interest at the 10th ASEM Summit on 16-17 October in Milan, under the title: 'Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security'.

7. We have reviewed, and are satisfied about the good progress made in, sectoral dialogue and cooperation.  This includes the following areas:

(1)   Given the importance of a free and open internet, we are encouraged by the steady progress of our cooperation in information and communications technology through measures such as the success of the second high level ICT Security Workshopand the second coordinated call for proposals on research and development.

(2)   We seek enhanced cooperation in transport, an area that is central for addressing common challenges, such as security, safety, oil dependency, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.  We will continue our dialogue on aviation with a view to exploring the shared benefits of expanded cooperation.  We will continue close collaboration through the EU-Japan maritime transport dialogue to promote quality shipping, global level-playing fields and open markets.  We will seek to promote global business opportunities in the railways sector, notably in the context of the EU-Japan Railways Industrial Dialogue.

(3)   Following the conclusion of the negotiation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, we emphasise the need for close cooperation between customs authorities and through the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to facilitate legitimate trade.  We also reaffirm the importance of ensuring supply chain security through such cooperation.  We will continue to develop further cooperation in the field of customs, such as in the implementation of mutual recognition of Authorised Economic Operators programmes and risk management.

(4)   Considering the globalisation in the world economy, we welcome past cooperation in competition law enforcement and indicate our interest in developing initiatives to improve relations in this field further, based on the 2003 Agreement between the Government of Japan and the European Community Concerning Cooperation on Anticompetitive Activities.

(5)   Welcoming the successful outcome of the EU-Japan Industrial Dialogue in April 2014, we reaffirm the significance of deepening cooperation on industrial policy to achieve further economic growth both in the EU and Japan. We also emphasise our willingness, in the framework of the Dialogue, to enhance cooperation in such areas as regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures, aiming at compatibility and convergence through the appropriate application of international standards, notably in the automotive sector.

(6)   Recognising the importance of secure, sustainable, affordable and safe energy supplies for both the EU and Japan, we emphasise the need for dialogues that contribute to strengthening our energy cooperation.  We will continue to cooperate to promote the development of a transparent and liquid gas market, and expect further progress to be achieved including at the 3rd LNG Producer-Consumer Conference.  We welcome the joint statement of the G7 Energy Ministerial meeting in Rome (5-6 May 2014).  We will seek to step up our cooperation in areas relevant for enhancing the secure supply of energy.  We also reaffirm that the EU and Japan will strengthen our partnership on the ITER Project and the Broader Approach Activities for their complete success towards the realisation of fusion energy.

(7)   Mindful of the remaining restrictive measures for radionuclides in food and feed exportation from Japan or from the European Union, we are committed to reviewing these measures scientifically on the basis of data on radionuclides levels in food and feed and the principles of the Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed to eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade.

(8)   (ex.12) People-to-people exchanges and cooperation in higher education are essential tools to engage with each other's culture and deepen mutual understanding, particularly amongst young people.  The EU-funded Erasmus Plus programme can deepen academic cooperation between the EU and Japan already developed through double degree programmes and student, researcher and staff  exchanges, providing new opportunities to increase mobility.  Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions are supporting the exchange of research staff from institutions in the EU and Japan.  The EU Institutes in Japan further mutual understanding, engage with a wide array of audiences and reinforce EU-Japan academic cooperation.  In addition, we have decided to mutually support our respective events to promote student exchanges between the EU and Japan, such as the European Higher Education Fair held in Japan in May and the Study in Japan Fairs, including those being held in London and Paris in November 2014.

8. We underline the solid EU-Japan cooperation in a broad range of other sectors and areas, including macroeconomic policies, financial regulation, employment, the environment, and fisheries.  Sectoral dialogue and cooperation contribute to growth and job creation on the EU and Japan, and thus constitute an important element of the relationship.


9. We underline the importance of policies that ensure strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, in line with G20 commitments, including through the comprehensive growth strategies that will be presented at the Brisbane Summit.  We remain committed to securing fiscal sustainability and to fully implementing financial sector reforms, as well as the ambitious G20 agenda to fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion through the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project and the new single global standard for automatic exchange of information.

10. Following the successful 9th WTO Ministerial Conference, we have decided to cooperate on the timely completion of work under the Ministerial Decision on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and toward its swift implementation in an ambitious manner. We are committed to concluding the Doha Round of trade negotiations and will cooperate in the WTO on defining a realistic and balanced post-Bali work-programme.  We are determined to conclude negotiations on expanding the Information Technology Agreement as soon as possible, and advance negotiations on an open and ambitious Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and on an environmental goods initiative, all of which will contribute to liberalisation under the multilateral trading system.  We reaffirm our determination to combat all forms of protectionism.

11. We concur on the seriousness of the challenge posed by climate change. We recognise that urgent, deep and sustained cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by all Parties are required, with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to bring the world on a track towards limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial level, with Japan and the EU to be among those taking the lead. We also recognise the significant gap between the mitigation action pledged and the level of global ambition needed. We are thus resolved to work towards the adoption, at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in 2015, of an ambitious protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC applicable to all Parties, with a view to achieving the objective of the Convention, and to strengthen the multilateral, rules-based regime. We are ready to show the requisite leadership, including at the UN Secretary General's Leaders' Summit in September and through effective domestic and international actions. We will deliver on our respective existing pledges, we are engaged in domestic preparations for intended nationally determined contributions and we will communicate them based on the decision taken at COP19 which invites us to do so well in advance of COP21 (and by the first quarter of 2015 for those Parties ready to do so). In doing so, we will promote adequate transparency and accountability in the new agreement.  We will also intensify international cooperation in the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, the G20, the Montreal Protocol and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

12. We are determined to further enhance cooperation in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, in order to build a safer world for all.  We stress the importance of compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and promote the implementation of the follow-on actions on all three pillars of the conclusions and recommendations of the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, including the Action Plan, and the proposed Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction.  We will work together to contribute substantially to the successful outcome for the next Review Conference in 2015.  Progress should be made across all pillars of the NPT, and should include reaching consensus among NPT States Parties on the withdrawal issue.  In this context, we welcome all efforts to strengthen the provisions on withdrawal from the NPT, including highlighting the role of the UN Security Council, as suggested by the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), as well as by the EU.  We also will cooperate to promote the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, to counter the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, especially in Libya and the Sahel region, and to press for the early entry into force and effective implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty.  We share the commitment to ensuring strict export control of arms and dual-use items and technologies, especially in areas of tension.

13. We will work together to achieve the highest standards of safety and security of nuclear energy for peaceful uses and intensify dialogue and cooperation on nuclear safety. This will involve implementing the objectives recently reconfirmed at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.  We will maintain our leading role as providers of human, material and financial assistance to international organisations and third countries with the aim of strengthening nuclear security, safety and non-proliferation worldwide.

14. We highlight the crucial contribution of EU-Japan cooperation in science, technology and innovation to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness, and to address shared societal challenges.  Building on the progress achieved since the entry into force of our Agreement on Science and Technology, in particular in the key areas of mutual interest such as critical raw materials, aeronautics and information and communications technology, we aim for a new strategic partnership in research and innovation.  We note the new opportunities offered in the context of the EU programme Horizon 2020 and of the Japanese ‘Comprehensive STI Strategy’.  We are committed to unlocking the full potential of our cooperation and thereby reflect the excellence of our respective science bases and world-leading capacities in research and innovation, in particular by addressing the issues of access to and participation in each other’s research programmes.  We take note of the results of the senior officials’ meeting, mandated by the last Summit, which took place in Tokyo in April to exchange views for and exploring more effective and efficient mechanisms to enhance future research cooperation.  Based on these fruitful discussions, a dialogue will be pursued in order to identify a concrete way forward.

15. We reaffirm the importance of safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities, and have decided to hold the inaugural meeting of the EU-Japan Space Policy Dialogue in Tokyo in the latter half of 2014.  We will continue to cooperate on promoting the adoption of an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities.

16. Facing more severe, widespread and globalised risks surrounding cyberspace and the need to protect human rights online, protection of a safe, open and secure cyberspace is needed.  With this shared recognition, we have decided to launch an EU-Japan Cyber Dialogue, with a view to promoting cooperation on cyberspace through exchanges of our respective extensive experience and knowledge.

17. We reaffirm our commitment to increasing EU-Japan cooperation and partnership in the field of peace and security, including crisis management cooperation, in order to contribute jointly to a more secure and stable world.  The EU leaders explained the new orientations given by the European Council in the field of security and defence, towards making the EU a more effective security provider, in close cooperation with international and regional partners.  Prime Minister Abe explained the main lines of Japan's National Security Strategy, which foresees closer cooperation with the EU.  The EU leaders welcome and support the prospect of an expanded role of Japan in promoting and sustaining global peace and security, as set out in its policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation.  In this regard, we will continue to seek concrete cooperation, in compliance with the UN Charter, to promote global peace and security, in areas such as the fight against piracy, terrorism and organised crime.  We will continue to explore the scope for strengthened Japanese collaboration with the EU’s CSDP missions, including the possibility of future participation, as well as intensify further dialogue and training in this respect.  The recent visit to Japan of the Chairman of the EU Military Committee and prospects for a CSDP seminar in Tokyo contribute to this effort.  We will also continue to strengthen already close cooperation on the ground including the following concrete collaborations between Japan’s assistance and the EU’s CSDP missions and operations:

- Capacity building of the national military forces of Mali, through the support to the Peacekeeping School of Bamako;

- Improvement of security, antiterrorism laws and enhancement of judicial cooperation in Mali;

- Capacity building of police officers and judicial administrators in the Democratic Republic of Congo;

- Improvement of security, antiterrorism laws and enhancement of judicial cooperation in Niger;

Building on our close cooperation in counter piracy activity off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, the EU leaders warmly welcome Japan's proposal to carry out a joint counter piracy exercise between deployed units of the EU’s Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR) – Operation Atalanta and Japan’s Self Defence Forces.

18. We will work with all partners to ensure an ambitious post-2015 development framework that is universal and applicable to all countries, but takes into account national contexts and capacities.  We should aim at developing a single set of goals that coherently addresses the inter-linked challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development and that promotes peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights for all, where the aspect of human security is essential.  We seek to coordinate further our positions on financing sustainable development, based on more efficient mobilisation and use of all resources including of domestic resources and private financial flows.  We reiterate the importance of further cooperation and coordination in the area of humanitarian aid and disaster risk reduction, including in the context of the preparations for a post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

19. We seek further dialogue and collaboration in the field of global development policy.  We will further invigorate the annual EU-Japan Development Policy Dialogue and have decided to hold the third meeting in July, focussing amongst other themes on Post 2015 Development Agenda and financing for development, as well as policy coordination in the area of women’s empowerment. The follow-up to both the TICAD V and the 4th EU-Africa Summit through the Dialogue will provide the frame for enhanced coordination between the EU and Japan in the area of development cooperation for Africa, in full respect of African ownership.

20. We share the view that women can and should play a full and equal role in society and the economy.  Their full participation will contribute to eradicating poverty, promoting peace, vitalising society and bringing growth.  With this shared recognition, we affirm our commitment to strengthening our cooperation to foster the empowerment of women globally. The Government of Japan will host an important international event on women's empowerment later this year to which it will invite the EU's participation.  The EU leaders welcome Japan's enhanced role in this area and look forward to an EU participation in the event.


21. We seek close cooperation on a range of salient foreign and security policy issues which are of strategic importance to the EU and Japan in our respective neighbourhoods and beyond, and where there is a considerable convergence of views.  We reaffirm our shared view that international disputes and issues should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law, not by force or coercion, and are determined to enhance security-related cooperation and strengthen international peace and security.

22. We support the Ukrainian people and their right to choose their own future and remain committed to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.  We strongly condemn the illegal attempt to annex Crimea by Russia and do not recognise it.  We reiterate the importance of Russia's and Ukraine's engagement in a meaningful dialogue and  in this regard welcome the Statement agreed in Geneva on 17 April and the concrete actions taken so far by the Ukrainian Government in this regard. We call on Russia to take concrete action in support of the Geneva accord and to refrain from any steps to further destabilise Ukraine.  We underscore that the door remains open to a diplomatic resolution of this crisis, while prepared to take further measures as appropriate, in line with relevant G7 statements, to deal with new developments.   We stand by the Ukrainian government in its efforts to stabilise Ukraine and undertake reforms, including through assistance.  We welcome the Ukrainian government's commitment to ensure that governmental structures are inclusive and reflect regional diversity and to provide full protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.  We strongly support the holding of free and fair presidential elections on 25 May in Ukraine.

23. We reiterate our commitment to supporting the transformation of other Eastern European partner countries towards sustainable democracies and market economies.  We will continue to coordinate our respective action in support of the modernisation of these countries in the context of the EU's Eastern Partnership.  We will also further cooperation regarding other parts of the EU’s neighbourhood, such as the Western Balkans and on the Black Sea.

24. We welcome the major progress in the democratic transition of Tunisia with the adoption of the new constitution and appointment of a new government and are looking forward to the general election foreseen at the end of the year.  As decided in March at the Rome Ministerial Conference on Libya, we will intensify our coordinated assistance to help Libya achieve its stabilisation, democratic transition, comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation.

25. We fully support negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority aiming to reach a final agreement establishing a viable Palestinian state, living in peace and security along with Israel.  We urge the parties to avoid any decision that could jeopardise the current process.  We stand ready to contribute substantially to ensure implementation and sustainability of a peace agreement once it has been reached.

26. We welcome the important progress in the intensive diplomatic efforts by High Representative Ashton and the E3/EU+3 aimed at reaching a negotiated solution that meets the international community's concerns on the Iranian nuclear programme. The EU leaders expressed their appreciation of Japan’s support to the E3/EU+3 action and its constructive engagement with Iran in this respect. We stress that implementation of the interim deal as outlined in the Joint Plan of Action is a first, confidence-building step to address the most urgent concerns.  Efforts must now focus on producing a comprehensive and final settlement which ensures the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities.  We urge Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA to resolve all outstanding issues including those relating to possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme.  Our efforts will continue to be based on the dual track-approach until all concerns relating to Iran's nuclear programme are fully resolved.  We also jointly urge Iran to improve its human rights situation and to cooperate fully with the international community to this end.

27. We express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and in the neighbouring countries, and the unacceptable levels of violence, which continue to cause suffering to millions of Syrians, many of them without access to the aid they desperately need.  The spill-over of violence and the alarming number of foreign fighters taking part in the conflict in Syria are threatening the stability of the whole region.  We urge full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2139, and urge all parties to facilitate unfettered humanitarian access.  Where feasible, we are determined to increase and coordinate our support to areas that are not under regime's control by all possible channels.  We call for the resumption of the next rounds of Geneva 2 talks which must lead to a serious engagement by the two sides to embark on planning for a genuine political transition, including the implementation of free and fair elections, within the framework of the Geneva Communiqué.  The chemical weapons arsenal needs to be destroyed fully and in accordance with the decided timelines, under UN Security Council Resolution 2118 and relevant OPCW decisions.  We will also continue to address the situation in Syria through the UN human rights bodies to press for an end to the violence and for accountability for the grave human rights violations and abuses in the country.

28. We welcome the holding of presidential elections as a historic opportunity for the Afghan people to further enhance democratic transition, stabilisation and development in Afghanistan, and call upon all stakeholders to pursue their efforts to ensure the security of the ballot, as well as a legitimate outcome.  Full implementation of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework is of utmost importance and we look forward to the holding of the Ministerial follow-up conference later this year.  The protection of human rights, in particular for women and children remains essential.  In order to maintain the high levels of international support, we need solid security arrangements.  Following the elections, we will promote a renewed impetus to regional cooperation, notably to the Heart of Asia initiative as a means to promote security, stability and development in the region.  Building on the success of the 4th Japan-EU conference on Tajikistan-Afghanistan Border Management and Cross-border Collaboration held in Dushanbe, March 2014, we will also continue our cooperation on border management.

29. Mindful that security in East Asia has wider repercussions and in view of the growing uncertainties in the security environment, we concur on the need to continue to ensure the freedom of navigation and overflight of the high seas as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to ensure the safety of navigation and to refrain from actions, including the use of coercion, that could increase tensions.  We highlight the need to seek peaceful solutions through active diplomatic engagement and in accordance with principles of international law, and to work together to build mutual confidence.  In addition, we share the view that effective crisis management procedures and communications mechanisms would help to avoid any accidental heightening of tensions.

30. We support ASEAN and its central role in establishing strong and effective multilateral security structures in Asia.  To this end, the EU and Japan will continue to play an active and constructive role in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).  We strongly support the efforts by ASEAN and China for the early conclusion of an effective and legally binding Code of Conduct.  Recognising the EU's experience in regional integration and the promotion of peace and security on a continental scale, Prime Minister Abe welcomes the EU’s continued interest in greater involvement in the East Asia Summit and its willingness to contribute substantially to promoting peace and security in the region, including through its engagement with the regional architecture.

31. We welcome the comprehensive and substantial progress of Myanmar towards democratisation, national reconciliation and economic reforms.  We will continue to support social, political and economic development, and constitutional and electoral reform, in order to ensure that the elections to be held in 2015 are credible, inclusive and transparent and consolidate democracy.  We underline the need to protect civilians from violence and to ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including for all ethnic minorities living in the country.

32. The DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes continue to be a serious threat to international peace and security.  We strongly condemn and express grave concern at the ballistic missile launches conducted by the DPRK in March. We urge the DPRK to exercise self-restraint and to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and to re-engage constructively with the international community, in particular the members of the Six-Party Talks, in order to work towards lasting peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.  To this end, we urge the DPRK to comply with its obligations under the UN Security Council Resolutions and its commitment under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement.  We also urge the DPRK to comply with its IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty without delay.  We condemn the systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations in the DPRK that may in many instances entail crimes against humanity, as described in the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry and urge the DPRK to take immediate steps to end these human rights violations including the abductions issue.  We urge the DPRK to cooperate fully with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK and to participate in the Universal Periodic Review in a constructive manner.

33. We underline the importance of EU-Japan coordination on and cooperation in international fora such as ASEM, the G7/G8 and the G20, and look forward to continuing our close contacts including at summit level.  Our aim is thereby to expand our cooperation, to strengthen our Strategic Partnership and to realise our shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous future for our citizens and the world.

Source and additional information:

EU/Japan Summit. Akie Abe, Shinzō Abe, Herman van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso (from left to right) Date: 06/05/2014 Reference: P-025551/00-12 Location: Brussels - Chateau of Val-Duchesse (C)EU, 2014 URL