"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, 8th Japan-EU Summit

[Place] Bonn
[Date] 20 June, 1999
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Mr. Gerhard Schroeder, President of the European Council, Mr. Keizo Obuchi, Prime Minister of Japan, and Mr. Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, met in Bonn on 20 June 1999 for the Eighth Summit between the European Union and Japan.

At the meeting the leaders recognised the growing interdependence between the EU and Japan and announced their intent to further broaden and deepen their partnership in the New Millennium to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in Asia, Europe and globally on the basis of their shared commitment to freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

They underlined that these objectives would be achieved by enhancing their political dialogue, expanding economic and trade relations and fostering co-operation.

The following were the main highlights of the Summit:

Enhancing political co-operation

On Kosovo, the leaders welcomed their close co-operation in dealing with the unfolding human consequences of the conflict. They emphasised the importance of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. In response to the EU's initiative to establish this Pact, the Japanese side expressed its intent to contribute actively to its implementation. The EU side welcomed the Japanese side's grant of assistance to Kosovo refugees and to surrounding countries as a manifestation of the Japanese side's commitment to peace and stability in Europe.

They emphasised the need to jointly promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula through a policy of engagement towards North Korea, coordinated with other partners involved, inter alia through continued support to KEDO.

They underlined the need for Russia to continue political and economic reforms. They confirmed their commitment to support Russia's political and economic transformation process and emphasised the important role that technical assistance measures can play in supporting Russia in this effort.

They expressed confidence that the outcome of the elections in Indonesia will constitute a first decisive step towards its political stability and economic recovery and stressed their continued intent to support Indonesia in the future.

They expressed the hope that the agreement reached at the United Nations on East Timor will be properly implemented, permitting the people of East Timor to vote freely and fairly in the direct ballot.

The leaders, acknowledging that the Amsterdam Treaty reinforces the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, expressed their intention to develop some new concrete joint initiatives to advance mutual foreign policy objectives. They welcomed new forms of an informal political dialogue between the EU and Japan recently established in Tokyo.

Expanding economic and trade relations

They underlined the need to promote policies leading to stable financial conditions on world markets. They welcomed the successful introduction of the euro and the measures being taken by the Japanese side to enhance the internationalisation of the yen. They acknowledged that economic and monetary union in Europe opens up new opportunities for further co-operation between the EU and Japan in the field of economic and financial policy.

They emphasised their intention to continue to provide appropriate economic assistance measures to facilitate the restructuring of certain Asian economies. The EU side welcomed in particular the new Miyazawa Initiative which is designed to enhance Asian countries' access to international capital markets.

They welcomed the steps taken by the Japanese side to stabilise its economy through strengthening its financial system and stimulating domestic demand in order to provide a sound basis for economic recovery. They pointed to the key role that structural reform measures can play in securing long term growth, in enhancing transparency and efficiency of markets and in improving the climate for foreign investment and trade.

They shared the view that while macroeconomic factors were primarily the cause of increased trade and investment imbalances between Japan and the EU, improvements in market access would promote a better business environment to the benefit of both sides.

They expressed their intention to deepen their successful two-way deregulation dialogue by focusing on priority issues of concern to both sides and providing for regular view of progress, notably at the EU-Japan Ministerial Meeting.

The leaders welcomed their close co-operation and coincidence of views in the WTO and expressed their intention to further develop the leadership role they are taking in launching the next comprehensive WTO Round of multilateral trade negotiations. They confirmed that they will work together to encourage other countries to commit to the New Round, drawing in particular on the ASEM process. They reiterated their opposition to unilateralism which has no place in the multilateral economic system. They stressed their support for concluding WTO accession negotiations as early as possible with candidate countries, including China, on commercially meaningful terms.

The leaders welcomed the agreement reached by their delegations on the main elements of an EU-Japan Mutual Recognition Agreement in relation to conformity assessment in the sectors of electrical appliances, telecommunications equipment, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Noting that this Agreement would help to promote trade between the EU and Japan, the leaders stressed the need to finalise the remaining work expeditiously so that this Agreement can be presented to their respective legislative bodies for approval.

They welcomed the progress made by their respective business communities towards strengthening the EU-Japan business dialogue. They also welcomed the recent decision to establish the EU- Japan Business Dialogue Round Table and expressed their support for this forum which should lead to more effective and broad-based private sector input into policies to promote trade and investment bilaterally and multilaterally.

Fostering EU-Japan Co-operation

The leaders emphasised the desirability to further develop their co-operation across all areas: for example, they will continue to work closely together to achieve global environment objectives, notably in the field of climate change, including the reduction of CO2 emissions from cars, to intensify the discussions on protection of personal data and to deepen their relations in the field of science and technology.