"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] Japan-India Joint Declaration

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] December 10, 2001
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Japan and India, with a tradition of profound interchanges from time immemorial, have cultivated friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in April 1952 and contributed to the stability and prosperity in Asia and the world.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Japan and India resolve to take their bilateral relationship to a qualitatively new level. The foundation for this was laid when Mr. Yoshiro Mori, then Prime Minister of Japan and Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India agreed during the former Japanese Prime Minister's landmark visit to India in August 2000 to establish the "Global Partnership in the 21st Century. "During the historic visit to Japan by Prime Minister Vajpayee, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and he expressed satisfaction with the steady progress of this partnership comprising multifaceted cooperation, and declared their determination to strengthen the Japan-India Global Partneship{sic}, centring on two pillars, namely, broadening and deepening the development of bilateral relations and meeting global challenges.

The two countries share the ideas of democracy and market economy, the spirit of tolerance, receptivity to diversity and the wisdom to benefit from the distinctive characteristics of their civilizations and cultures. In this perspective, the two leaders announced the common resolve that Japan and India should strengthen cooperation in order to contribute towards the stability and prosperity of Asia and the world in the 21st century.

Bilateral relations

The two leaders renewed their recognition of the need for holding regular exchange of views at high levels, in order to facilitate the cross-sectoral dialogue on bilateral, regional and international issues including regional cooperation. They confirmed to hold, in principle, Foreign Minister level meetings once a year, making use of appropriate opportunities at multilateral meetings. They also confirmed their intention to further promote exchanges between their Defense, Economic and Finance ministers.

The two leaders reiterated that strengthened cooperation between the two countries is a positive factor for the maintenance of peace and stability. They also reaffirmed the importance of settling issues through peaceful dialogues. They were pleased with the successful outcomes of the Japan-India Comprehensive Security Dialogue and Japan-India Military-to-Military Consultation, both of which were held in July this year. They confirmed that it is important to continue such dialogues and to annually hold the Comprehensive Security Dialogue covering the entire range of issues of mutual concern including disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as Military-to-Military consultations, and also confirmed that the two sides would hold a dialogue on counter-terrorism in the framework of the Japan-India Comprehensive Security Dialogue. They expressed their satisfaction with the steady progress in defense exchanges and confirmed their further promotion.

The two leaders highly appreciated the activities of the Japan-India Parliamentary Friendship Association in Japan, which has continued to deepen mutual understanding between the two countries. They, at the same time, sincerely welcomed the decision to re-establish the India-Japan Parliamentarian Association in India. They reiterated the importance of regular Parliamentary contacts between the two countries.

The two leaders welcomed the proposals, which the Japan-India Eminent Persons' Group submitted to them, after conducting frank and lively discussions in their two joint meetings. They thanked them for their effort which will help them in their endeavour to broaden and deepen the bilateral relationship.

On 26 October 2001, the Government of Japan announced by its Chief Cabinet Secretary's statement the decision to discontinue the measures on India, which the Japanese Government had taken in response to the nuclear tests conducted by India in May 1998. The Government of India expressed its appreciation and recalled, also with appreciation the generosity of the people and the Government of Japan in assisting India's economic development.

The two leaders acknowledged broad as well as deepened economic relations as an essential underpinning to strengthen the bilateral relationship. They shared the view that India's continuing economic reforms, Japan's recovery through structural reform and the existing complementarities between the two economies, will provide a solid foundation for further enhancing their economic relations. Both sides confirmed that it is necessary to reduce impediments to bilateral trade and investment and to encourage economic growth with due consideration to environmental preservation.

The two leaders recognized that unbounded opportunities exist especially in the area of Information and Communication Technology in which there are extraordinary strong complementaries between Japan and India. They strongly encouraged the interactive efforts in the private sector, such as visits of business delegations, human exchanges and closer dialogues on IT. In this regard, they highly appreciated the first meeting of their IT Ministers and the IT Eminent Persons' Meeting which were held in Japan in September this year. They expected that the exchanges in the private sector in this area will be further expanded, and to that end, they undertook to intensify their efforts. They earnestly hoped that their efforts should help to bridge the digital divide, so that the fruits of information revolution are shared equitably, by all.

At the onset of the 21st century, the two leaders confirmed their intention to strengthen the historical and amicable links between the two countries through the promotion of exchanges in culture, education and science and technology. To that end, India will set up an Indian Cultural Centre in Tokyo. They also placed emphasis on encouraging a wide range of people-to-people exchanges in all areas including exchanges between local bodies and the youth of both countries. They confirmed their intention to cooperate so that various cultural events commemorating the 50th Anniversary of their diplomatic relations will be held successfully. Both countries will issue special commemorative stamps to mark the occasion.

Global Challenges

The two leaders firmly maintained their position that terrorism cannot be justified wherever, whenever and for whatever reason. They also resolutely condemned terrorism in any form. They believed that the fight against global terrorism has to be comprehensive and sustained, with the objective of total elimination of terrorism in all regions. They shared the view that the fight is not only against the perpetrators of terrorist acts, but should encompass those who provide support, sustenance and safe haven. In this regard, they shared the view on the importance of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions pertaining to terrorism and the twelve UN Counter-Terrorism Conventions. They condemned the barbaric terrorist attacks on 11 September in the USA that posed a grave challenge to the international community as a whole and had given them and the international community fresh cause to work together to counter terrorism with firm resolve. They recognized the importance of strengthening the international legal framework against terrorism. In this context, Japan confirmed that it would cooperate with India for early adoption of India's proposed "Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism", which is presently under discussion in the UN.

Both sides emphasized the need for constructive efforts on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Japan took note of the efforts of the Government of India to develop a broad national consensus on signing the CTBT as early as possible, to not stand in the way of the entry into force of that treaty, and to continue the unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing until the treaty enters into force.

The two leaders reiterated support for the immediate commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and reaffirmed to cooperate in the UN and other fora towards the shared goal of eliminating nuclear weapons. They expressed their active support to the establishment of multilaterally negotiated norms concerning missiles and confirmed cooperation in implementing vigilant export control.

The two leaders confirmed that for long term peace and stability in Afghanistan, the future Government should be broad based, with fully representative of different ethnic and religious groups, should respect international law, establish good relations with all countries and should not be allowed to export terrorism. They noted that Afghanistan requires sizeable and sustained international assistance for its humanitarian needs, rehabilitation and reconstruction. They recognized the necessity to continue their dialogue and cooperation on Afghanistan.

The two leaders acknowledged the vital importance of the role of the United Nations in world peace, stability, and prosperity, and reaffirmed their intention to work together for the early realization of UN reforms, starting with the reform of the Security Council, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership. They also shared the belief that new permanent membership should include both developed and developing countries. In this regard, Japan and India, being in a position to play a significant role in the international community of the 21st century, reaffirmed their intention to continue to work together for the early accomplishment of reform of the UN Security Council.

The two leaders recognized the importance of cooperation in matters pertaining to safety and security of international maritime traffic. They also confirmed the importance of active cooperation between their coast guards and related agencies in such areas as anti-piracy and search and rescue operations. They expressed satisfaction with mutual visits between their coast guards patrol vessels and combined exercises between them. Both countries expected closer cooperation in this field, and pledged to cooperate to undertake at an early date constructive discussions on a regional cooperation agreement on anti-piracy in a Government Expert Working Group.

The two leaders shared a strong commitment for an open and non-discriminatory rule-based multilateral trading system. In this context, bearing duely in mind the launch of the Doha Work Program, as decided upon at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference, they reaffirmed that such trade negotiations should aim to further improve market access, clarify and improve WTO rules and disciplines and respond to the interests and concerns of all WTO Members including, in particular, of developing countries.

The benefits of globalization have spread unevenly at best. The two leaders stressed the importance of the war against poverty and tackling the issue of income gaps between the developed and developing world to sustain public support for globalization. To this end, Japan and India reiterated their determination to cooperate with each other so that all countries and peoples can reap the benefits of globalization in an equitable manner.

Addressing global environmental problems, including protection of the global climate system, is one of the biggest challenges facing the human kind. Both sides welcomed the agreement reached on rules, procedures and modalities to implement the Kyoto Protocol, in particular the Three Mechanisms at the 7th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP7) held in Morocco in November. They expressed their confidence that this will accelerate the process of the entry into force of the Protocol in 2002. They also recognised that "The World Summit on Sustainable Development", to be held in Johannesburg in September 2002, will provide a significant opportunity to look at environmental issues in a comprehensive way.

The two leaders reaffirmed to explore the possibility of cooperation in the fight against infectious diseases which retard development.

The two countries will cooperate with each other against economic offences and transnational organised crimes, including the prevention and combat of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and trafficking in persons, especially women and children, in UN and other international fora.

Prime Minister Vajpayee extended an invitation to Prime Minister Koizumi to pay an official visit to India at an early date and the invitation was accepted with pleasure. Dates would be settled through diplomatic channels.

The year 2002 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relation between Japan and India. This will provide a special opportunity, through interaction in a wide range of areas, to broaden and deepen sympathy and trust between the people of Japan and India and build a solid foundation for partnership between the two countries and fulfil our aspirations for a common future in a globalised world.