"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] Sixth EU-Japan Summit Meeting

[Place] Hague
[Date] 25 June 1997
[Source] European Union
[Full text]

Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Wim Kok, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, met in The Hague on 25 June 1997 for the sixth summit between Japan and the European Union.

They underlined the important role of EU-Japan relations in world affairs and expressed the view that these should be further developed and deepened.

In this context they noted the broad convergence of macro economic policies and emphasised that current internal developments and structural economic re-forms in the EU and Japan will have an important impact on international politics, society and economic growth and well-being in their regions and globally. These developments will in addition contribute to shaping the forces of global integration.

Participants reviewed key developments in Europe including progress towards the establishment of Economic and Monetary Union and the international implications of the introduction of the Euro. The European side outlined the new institutional re-forms of the EU following completion of the Intergovernmental Conference and the prospects for enlargement of the EU. Both sides acknowledged that these developments would enlarge the role and weight of the EU in world affairs and would have important implications for the Union's external political and economic relations including with Japan.

The Japanese side stressed the importance of its six structural re-forms, including fiscal and economic structural reforms and financial system reform currently being undertaken in Japan, which are designed to ensure strong domestic demanded growth in the medium to long term and, thus, to create a socioeconomic system which will be in line with the trend of today's increasingly integrated world economy.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to respect the terms of the Joint Declaration on the relations between the European Community and its Member State s and Japan issued in The Hague on 18 July 1991, and stressed that dialogue and co-operation, which underpin EU-Japan relations, should be reinforced in the light of the fundamental changes taking place in Japan and in the EU. Both sides acknowledged the importance of full and regular use of the 1991 Declaration's institutional framework. They also underlined the continuing relevance of the joint press statements of the EU-Japan summits of Paris in 1995 and of Tokyo in 1996.

Developing EU-Japan Political Co-operation

Participants welcomed the improved quality of recent Ministerial and Senior Officialsdialogues, which have allowed a frank and productive exchange of views. Wherever feasible, both sides would endeavor to ensure that political co-operation would lead to operational results in terms of policy co-ordination particularly in areas where they have developed a close working level dialogue.

Participants examined the specific political and security situations in their regions and considered that maintenance of a stable and secure political environment is essential for their continuing economic development. They share the view that for fora multilateral dialogue can play a significant role in reducing tensions and misunderstandings and confirmed their intent to work together to this end as appropriate.

They also looked forward to further co-operation and dialogue in political, economic and other areas including people-to-people exchanges in ASEM, which should lead to wide-ranging, balanced and deepened links between Asia and Europe and stressed the key significance of the long-standing EU-Japan partners-hip in this process. They recalled the Foreign MinistersMeeting in Singapore in February and welcomed the upcoming Economic MinistersMeeting in Japan and Finance MinistersMeeting in Thailand both in September. Both sides attached particular importance to a successful second ASEM Summit in London in April 1998.

Both sides also stressed the significance of the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference. They expressed their hope that enlargement of ASEAN will contribute to the enhancement of peace, stability and prosperity of the region and will promote respect for human rights and democratic principles in the new member states. They also expressed satisfaction with the increasingly important role played by the ASEAN Regional Forum. They emphasized that the active participation of the European Union to these various for is a welcome expression of its keen interest and involvement in Asia.

Both sides expressed their continued support to the Four Party meeting proposal aimed at achieving permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and called upon North Korea to accept the proposal without delay, as well as to engage seriously in South-North dialogue. They expressed satisfaction with the activities of KEDO that will facilitate compliance by North Korea with its non-proliferation obligations. They shared the view that continued support for KEDO would be valuable. Both sides welcomed the conclusion of negotiations for Euratom to participate in KEDO. Building upon the high degree of co-operation between the EU and Japan engendered in this process, both sides acknowledged the useful-ness of an ad hoc ex-change of views in the field of non-proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.

Both sides emphasized the need to encourage China to take further steps to integrate into the world community. They share a strong interest in the future peace and stability of Hong Kong and its maintenance as an economic and financial center in the region. In addition, they expressed their common desire to contribute to its smooth transition to its new status as a Special Administrative Region of China. Both sides looked forward to dealing directly with the Hong Kong government in all areas of policy reserved for the SAR, and to the effective implementation of the 1984 UK-PRC Joint Declaration and the 1990 Basic Law. These imply ensuring Hong Kong's continued stability and prosperity and preserving its way of life, its high degree of autonomy - including and independent monetary and economic system - its fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

Both sides strongly appeal to all Cambodian leaders to bring about political stability, civil order and economic reconstruction through the enhancement of democratic principles and good governance. Both sides welcomed the Japanese Prime Minister's initiative to dispatch special envoys as well as the EU demarche to the Royal Government of Cambodia to communicate the deep concern of the international community.

Participants welcomed the fact that Russia is forging closer links with the international community both by its economic reforms and by its growing engagement in multilateral institutions, reflecting the role and responsibilities that Russia is assuming as it moves forward to establish an advanced, industrial market economy.

The EU side acknowledged Japan's important role in providing assistance to Central and Eastern European countries in the context of G-24 and expressed the desire that this assistance be continued in the future.

Both sides remain committed to the on-going process of peace consolidation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They welcomed their prospective co-operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the UNDP Village employment and environment project, which could serve as a model for further collaboration in future.

Participants remained firmly of the view that the Middle East peace process is the only path to peace and stability in the region. They expressed serious concern about the latest developments and confirmed their strong resolve to assist in every way possible efforts including assistance to the Palestinians to promote a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

The EU and Japan re-affirmed the crucial role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and stability and in fostering global partnership and sustainable development. Both sides share the view that the various aspects of UN reform should be realized in a balanced manner. To this end they support thoroughgoing reform. They welcomed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's reform proposals and support their rapid implementation. They also look forward to additional proposals

Improving trade and investment relations and enhancing economic cooperation

Both sides, as two of the major economic entities in the world, reviewed their respective economic situation and explained their policies and efforts to improve and reform their economies.

They noted the reduction in Japan's global current account surplus and its bilateral trade surplus in goods and services with the EU since 1993. However, the EU side expressed its concern that imbalances persist and are growing again considerably in 1997, and stressed that their reduction would contribute to the avoidance of trade tensions. The Japanese side explained that the favorable trends of recent years would continue, despite current fluctuations. In this context, both sides recognized the importance of continuing trade promotion campaigns such as the second EU Gateway to Japan export promotion campaign.

The Japanese side stressed that the implementation and follow-up of broad-based deregulation measures remain an essential part of the Japanese Government's economic structural reform program. The EU and Japan confirm their intent to enhance their dialogue begun in 1994, and to continue to hold meetings at all relevant levels to discuss deregulation, including at least once a year in a high level meeting.

Participants noted the relevance of the work being undertaken in the OECD on regulatory reform for their own bilateral discussions on regulatory issues.

Participants recognized that obstacles to market access, including high market entry costs resulting notably from structural and regulatory factors impacting trade, inhibit the integration of the world economy and prevent exporters and investors from fully exploiting their marketing and economic potential, and from providing more consumer choice. Both sides expressed their intention to address such trade issues expeditiously with a view to finding mutually acceptable solutions.

Participants are looking forward to the commencement of meaningful and substantive discussions on distribution beginning in July.

Participants noted that the underlying trends with respect to foreign investment in each other? markets remain unchanged. The Japanese side expressed its desire to attract more direct investment from foreign capital affiliated firms to Japan and explained its efforts to facilitate this. The EU side welcomed Japanese direct investment in Europe and the continuing efforts of Japanese companies to become more fully integrated into the fabric of the European economy. Participants backed an early conclusion of a Multilateral Agreement on Investment, as a means to strengthen rules concerning investment and thus foster international investment flows.

The EU and Japanese sides stressed the importance of accelerating and intensifying work with a view to concluding a Mutual Recognition Agreement cove-ring both testing and certification, in sectors identified as being appropriate. A report will be made to the next summit on progress achieved.

Regarding Good Manufacturing Practices-imports, the Japanese side will accept the results of quality testing of European medical devices from 1 September 1997, subject to a limited number of final technical clarifications.

Both sides expressed their appreciation of the establishment of World Semiconductor Council (WSC) through the efforts of the private sectors, and their expectation of expansion of industrial co-operation in this sector.

Both sides reaffirmed the primacy of multilateral trading system and their intention to ensure that regional trade agreements are complementary to the WTO and consistent with its rules. In this connection, further strengthening of the WTO rules is desirable. Both sides recognized that, in view of the global implications of the major regional integration, such integration should proceed in a way which is open to the rest of the world and that benefits the international community as a whole.

The EU and Japanese sides welcomed the entry into effect of the WTO Agreement on Information Technology (ITA), and the conclusion of the WTO agreement on basic telecommunication services.

Both sides attached the highest importance to the further development of the multilateral trading system and decided to work together towards this end. Both sides acknowledged the importance of building upon the success of the WTO Ministerial in Singapore and concluded that the short term priority is to work together towards a full MFN financial services agreement with significantly improved market access commitments and national treatment from the broadest possible number of participants by the agreed deadline of December 1997. Looking ahead, both sides see the WTO's wider work program as a key foundation for further liberalization and strengthening of the multilateral trading system and, in this context, affirmed the importance of the 1998 WTO Ministerial Conference. They underlined the need for timely and substantial progress on all issues, including trade and competition and trade and investment, as well as transparency in government procurement, in accordance with the timetable approved in Singapore.

Recalling the 1995 EU-Japan Paris summit with regard to the procedures for solving trade disputes, both sides acknowledged that, while maintaining the right to refer cases to the multilateral dispute settlement mechanisms of the WTO for resolution, both sides should make every effort to find mutually acceptable bilateral solutions.

The expansion of the multilateral system to embrace China, Russia and other applicants on commercially viable terms was seen as essential for underpinning the long term evolution of world trade and for ensuring the global application of a WTO rules based trading system. Both sides confirmed their intention to work closely together towards achieving the universality of WTO membership.

Recalling the commitments they undertook during the WTO Ministerial Conference in Singapore to support the Least Developed Countries, both sides under-line the importance they attach to improved market access for LDC's on an autonomous basis as well as to better co-ordinate technical assistance in the field of human and institutional capacity building. In this context, they share the recognition of the significance of the High Level Meeting organized by WTO, UNCTAD and ITC in Geneva in October 1997.

Reinforcing Co-operation

Co-operation is a foundation stone of maturing EU-Japan relations. Joint activities have been developed in a wide variety of areas and both sides expressed the desirability of further developing such activities where common aims can be identified. Both sides recognized that co-operation activities should be assessed regularly for their results and to check that current and future needs are met.

Both sides welcomed the fact that new avenues of dialogue were opening up reflecting the diversification of EU-Japan relations. Participants expressed their intention to promote dialogue and undertake, where appropriate, joint initiatives, including in the fields of Education, Science and Technology, Information and Communication Technologies, Electronic commerce, and Social Security. The EU stressed the importance of conducting a dialogue on Public Procurement. Participants have, in addition, highlighted the following sectonal interests:

Both sides stressed the importance of more effective input by European and Japanese business in EU-Japan relations.

They shared the view that the further development of industrial co-operation initiatives managed by the EU Japan Centre for Industrial Co-operation, would equally contribute to fostering enhanced economic links between the EU and Japan.

Participants reached common recognition on the importance of UNGASS to give new impetus to the Rio process and to pave the way towards better implementation of existing commitments in the field of environment.

With respect to climate change the EU repeated its well established common position as recalled by the European Council and the Council of Ministers, while Japan explained its position which reflects the line agreed by the Summit of the Eight in Denver. Both sides agreed to cooperate for the success of the third conference of the Parties in the UN Framework of the Convention on Climate Change to be held in Kyoto in December 1997.

Participants acknowledged that a good basis has been established for Japan-EU co-operation within the field of humanitarian aid including exchange of information on concrete humanitarian aid.

Recognizing the need for the progressive implementation of the OECD DAC New Development Strategy, and taking into account the major roles played by the Union and by Japan in the field of development co-operation, both sides are determined to strengthen their co-operation in this area. They attach particular importance to improving the efficiency of development assistance through an output-oriented approach and through better aid coordination, in full respect of the principle of ownership, to maintaining substantial flows of official development assistance, and to targeting it to those countries with the greatest needs and which are committed to sound policies.

Participants are in particular sensitive to the situation in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and they are willing to improve their co-operation in fields like food security policies, human resources development, capacity building and support to education and health policies. In this regard, participants welcomed that Japan will hold the second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II) in 1998.

In addition, Participants highlighted the importance of the Initiative for a Caring World of Prime Minister Hashimoto in an area where both partners are confronted with analogous challenges, and commended the ongoing work in multilateral fora. They acknowledged the importance of sharing their knowledge and experience with other countries with a view to creating better societies for future generations.

Participants also re-affirmed their intention to co-operate in the fight against terrorism, transnational organized crime including drug-related crime, money laundering, smuggling of conventional weapons and nuclear material and to work together to this end within existing fora.

Both sides also noted the joint benefits that would accrue to them from further enhancing co-operation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters, and they confirmed their intention to deepen their co-operation in the customs area.

Both sides noted the good co-operation between the Union and Japan in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy including nuclear research and development and expressed their interest to further develop this co-operation into other nuclear areas in the near future.

Both sides welcomed the EU-Japan Co-operation Week, which will take place in Tokyo from 29 September to 2 October. This event will raise awareness of the benefits of EU-Japan co-operation drawing on the expertise of EU Member States, Commission and Japan. Both sides will make every effort to ensuring its success through high-level participation.