General Market

Speeches: Developments in South and Central Asia

When I look at the map of South and Central Asia in my office, I see a region that is truly at the world’s crossroads – spanning vital sea lanes to the south and burgeoning trade routes and energy flows to the north. So this is a region not just at a geographic crossroads, but also at the crossroads of global economic and strategic trends. In the year since Assistant Secretary Biswal spoke to you, we have seen some important developments throughout the region, which I’d like to briefly review before we jump into discussion.

I’d actually like to begin with Nepal, which, as you have all seen, has been devastated by two major earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks. Nearly 4 million people have been displaced from their homes, and, with monsoon season beginning this month, they will be facing landslides, floods, and food shortages. Our folks at USAID are working hard to make sure that people are sheltered and fed, but the challenge doesn’t stop there: the effort to rebuild Nepal will take many years and cost many billions of dollars, and will take place amid a delicate political transition following nearly a decade of civil war. We are committed to helping Nepal rebuild in a way that will lead to growth and economic development, to ensure that Nepal emerges in better shape than it was before. Private sector investment, including in Nepal’s hydropower sector, will continue to be a part of that.

And as we begin to plan that tremendous recovery effort, a top priority should be restoring the damage to Nepal’s cultural heritage. The destruction visited upon that inheritance goes beyond just bricks and mortar and lost tourism revenue; it really goes to the heart of our collective human experience. Those damaged sites represented the development and expansion of Buddhism and Hinduism, phenomena which inspired artistic and architectural traditions that, in turn, defined Nepal’s melting pot of diverse faiths and vibrant cultures. The earthquake destroyed many of the monuments to this unique legacy, and I think there is a distinct role for the private sector, in partnership with public institutions, to take part in the restoration of Nepal’s inspiring heritage, and I’d be interested in hearing any of your thoughts or ideas about that.

The tragedy in Nepal actually provides an apt segue for my next topic – India’s growing regional leadership. Within four hours of the earthquake, Indian aircraft were on the way with relief supplies. India sent hundreds of search and rescue and medical personnel, and evacuated thousands of third-country nationals, including many Americans. And, not surprisingly, several of the aircraft India used in its relief efforts were built with the help of American companies, and we expect to see more of that as we expand our security and economic cooperation.

We’re expanding that cooperation not just because India is the region’s geographic anchor, and not just because it’s the world’s fastest-growing major economy, but because it’s a country with which we share many core values and many common interests. And our relationship with India has really blossomed since last year’s election of Prime Minister Modi. President Obama’s most recent visit to India in January was historic not just for its symbolism, but also for its substance, especially for our strategic partnership, our security cooperation, our economic relationship, and our clean-energy and environmental goals.

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi have announced their intention to increase U.S-India trade five-fold, to $500 billion. For their part, India’s recently-released foreign trade policy lays out a vision to double exports of goods and services to $900 billion by 2020. And at the U.S.-India Business Council Summit in New Delhi, President Obama announced several steps that we’ll take to support increased trade:

• the Export-Import Bank will support up to $1 billion in “Made in America” products going to India,

• the Overseas Private Investment Corporation will invest $1 billion in SMEs in rural India, and

• the Trade and Development Agency will put $2 billion toward renewable energy in India.

Further liberalization of India’s investment regime could double U.S. investment into the country, and India could certainly use the technology, expertise, and capital that our companies have to offer. But our companies also need transparency, predictability, and legal certainty. So there’s still a lot on our to-do list, but we have seen several promising breakthroughs recently:

• we overcame a deadlock on the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the WTO;

• we resumed discussions on the possibility for a high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty;

• we moved forward on issues that were impeding our civil-nuclear cooperation; and

• we elevated our partnership to a Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

Along with those successes, we announced a Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region. The initiative joins together our “Rebalance to Asia” with India’s own “Act East” policy, which Prime Minister Modi has strengthened. In that joint-vision document, India went so far as to affirm the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, which, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, has been making a number of headlines lately. Sharing a vision with India for the region is no small thing, and it sends a very strong and important message to any country that might seek to upend international norms and rules.

We’re also working to promote strong trade ties between South Asia and Southeast Asia with an economic corridor that goes from India, through Burma, and on to the southeast. This initiative received a boost last December when the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation announced a compact with Nepal to focus on the energy and transportation sectors.

Democratic elections have also brought about a sea-change in our relationship with Sri Lanka, a mere 35 miles across the Palk Strait from India’s southeast coast, where the new president has moved the country away from divisive politics and crony capitalism toward a new path of reconciliation and inclusive development.

We plan to do a lot to support Sri Lanka’s pursuit of that new path, to strengthen its governance, especially its judicial and financial institutions. This new path will be a boon for the Sri Lankan people, but also for U.S. interests: we can now work together with Sri Lanka to promote good governance and human rights abroad, as well as improve maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

And on the other side of the Bay of Bengal, some 1,200 miles to the northeast, Bangladesh has the potential to become a modern and prosperous country, one that connects the economies of South Asia and Southeast Asia. This is a country that has had an average annual growth rate of about 6 percent for over two decades, reducing its poverty rate from over half of the population to less than a third.

Much of that growth has been driven by the garment sector, which employs some four million workers, 90% of whom are women. But, as I’m sure you’re aware, working conditions there need a lot of improvement. After some truly horrific factory disasters, a remarkable coalition of government, industry, labor, and civil society came together to fix the failures in worker safety and labor rights that led to those tragedies. International brands have played a leading role in improving factory safety in Bangladesh, and have been instrumental in pulling national industry and government in the right direction. But a lot more needs to be done, particularly on labor rights – for all the progress, we have still not seen the change in attitudes, enforcement, and incentives that the garment sector needs to succeed.

Also, the political impasse and negative governance trends in Bangladesh don’t bode well for sustainable growth. Just a few months ago, the IMF revised downwards its projection for Bangladesh’s growth, citing the political climate. The current situation hurts the Bangladeshi people and the economy, so we’re focused on finding a long-term solution to the stalemate, a solution that works for all parties, and one where the Bangladeshi people can freely and peacefully exercise their rights of political expression and participation.

Before I conclude, I’d also like to touch briefly on the region near and dear to my heart, and my career – Central Asia. We’ve been giving it quite a bit of attention recently – Deputy Secretary Blinken, Assistant Secretary Biswal, and I have all spoken publicly about our updated strategy in Central Asia, and how we’re thinking about its security, political and economic reforms, and human rights. Having spent quite a bit of time there, I should also stress that Central Asia is not a monolithic region – it’s a diverse group of states with diverse sets of national interests, and we adjust our approach according to the specific conditions of each.

But we’re also very focused on a regional strategy of greater connectivity, among the Central Asian states themselves, but also with their neighbors in South Asia, Europe, and East Asia. Our efforts are concentrated on improving north-south energy markets, trade and transport infrastructure, customs and borders procedures, and business networks. The region is very welcoming of this work, which we think will open up new opportunities for U.S. businesses to better access growing markets in Asia and beyond.

To increase that likelihood, we’re also promoting a level playing field, working with governments to create institutions and regulatory frameworks that meet international standards. Some are much further ahead than others – Kyrgyzstan, for example, was the first to join the WTO and has developed a far more liberalized foreign-investment environment than some of its neighbors. Its leading role in the CASA-1000 regional electricity project, along with Tajikistan, will deepen regional cooperation on energy markets. Kazakhstan continues to take important steps to diversify its economy away from a dependence on energy exports, and is set to join the WTO, we hope, before the end of this year.

With an expanding web of trade, transport, and energy corridors, there’s some real momentum in Central Asia right now. That said, many of their economies are closely tied to Russia’s, so they’re dealing with the impacts of Russia’s economic downturn right now, especially when it comes to falling remittances. Meanwhile, China’s economic influence is rapidly expanding as it searches for energy and raw-material imports, as well as markets and transit routes for its exports. We think that some of China’s efforts in Central Asia can be quite complementary to our own, and I was actually in Beijing last month for a second round of consultations on how we can best advance common goals for the region.

In closing, I want to briefly put in a plug for our embassies’ commercial advocacy work. Our economic and commercial sections provide a multitude of services for U.S. companies operating or looking to operate abroad, support a range of trade delegations, and tirelessly work with foreign governments to improve the conditions for U.S. investment. On top of all that, our Foreign Service Officers, ambassadors, and high-level officials regularly advocate for U.S. companies on specific cases, and we have a lot of success stories that we’re rather proud of. We also have an embassy-to-business program called Direct Line, where senior embassy officials speak with companies here on business developments abroad – so I’d recommend jumping on those calls if any of you are interested.

With that, and realizing that I’ve left a lot of stones unturned, I’d love to open up the discussion and hear your thoughts about the region’s great potential, as well as its significant challenges. And I’m especially interested in how you think we in the U.S. government can better help businesses like yours to overcome some of those challenges and capitalize on that enormous potential.

General Information

23rd Japan-EU Summit, Tokyo, 29 May 2015 Joint Press Statement

Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, met in Tokyo on 29 May 2015 for the 23rd Summit between Japan and the European Union (EU) and issued the following joint statement.

Developing our Strategic Partnership

1. As close partners, Japan and the European Union are working together to address issues of vital importance to our citizens and the world based on common values and shared principles. We are conducting joint efforts to build peace, security and stability around the globe, by reinforcing our bilateral partnership and shouldering greater responsibilities for regional and global security. We are also negotiating landmark Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) /Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will deepen our cooperation and enhance our common prosperity.

2. Regular and substantial high-level meetings at summit and ministerial level drive our relations. We concurred todayon an enhanced political dialogue on foreign and security policy at ministerial level. We will also intensify cooperation within the regional and inter-regional frameworks, such as the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Japan welcomes the EU’s continued interest in greater involvement in the East Asia Summit and acknowledges the EU’s effort to promote the rule of law in the region.

3. The SPA and EPA/ FTA hold the potential to lift our relations to a new strategic level. We welcome the progress made in both negotiations and task negotiators to further accelerate both processes in parallel. With the SPA, we are establishing a legally binding foundation for the coming decades. As strategic partners we want to consolidate, deepen and extend our cooperation to all areas of mutual interest, the bilateral issues but also the global challenges. Given our combined global economic weight and international standing, we have a common interest and responsibility to show joint leadership on these issues. To consolidate our solid and evolving trade and economic partnership and pave the way for the future, we reaffirm the importance of a highly comprehensive and ambitious EPA/ FTA to be concluded as soon as possible. Such agreement will address notably issues related to market access for goods, services and investment, procurement including railways, as well as those related to non-tariff measures and the protection of geographical indications as well as intellectualproperty rights. To this end we have entrusted our negotiators with the mandate to settle the outstanding differences with a view to reaching agreement encompassing all the key issues preferably by the end of 2015.

4. We endorsed a Joint Vision today to strengthen our Strategic Partnership in Research and Innovation, an engine for growth and job creation in our two economies. We also committed to cooperate on the research and development of the 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks together.

Acting together for global peace and security

5. 2015 marks the 70th year since the end of World War II and the 40th year since the conclusion of the Helsinki Final Act. In this context, we reflected on the importance of reconciliation and regional cooperation and recognised the contributions that both Japan and the EU have made to the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community over the last 70 years. We reaffirmed our commitment to further enhancing cooperation and collaboration in this field at both global and regional levels, based on the common values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and shared principles such as open markets and rules-based international system.

6. We welcome the expanding Japan-EU cooperation and partnership in the field of peace and security, including crisis management cooperation.The EU welcomes and supports the efforts of Japan in promoting and sustaining global security as set out in the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. We reviewed the successful cooperation over the last year between Japan and the EU on missions aimed at improving the security in Niger and Mali as well as efforts regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo. We committed to explore further cooperation in Ukraine and Somalia as a next step.A joint seminar of military and government staff in 2015 in Tokyo took stock of this positive track record we are building together, helped deepen mutual understanding on our respective security policies and explored future cooperation possibilities.We will continue such consultations and welcome the upcoming consultation between Ministry of Defense of Japan and the EU this year. We also discussed the possibility of future participation of Japan in CSDP missions, bearing in mind necessary steps to this end and the specific expertise that Japan has to offer in this area.

7. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and also condemn the recent attacks which have been carried out by terrorist groups, including ISIL/Da’esh, in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. We are working to support international cooperation to counter-terrorism, through the UN, the Global Counter-terrorism Forum, and the G7 and to implement fully the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. We will intensify Japan-EU counter-terrorism cooperation, seeking measures to mitigate risk and strengthen border security, while protecting human rights and personal data. We reaffirm the need to utilise all available tools to fight and prevent terrorism and to coordinate capacity building efforts with third states. We also stress the importance of preventing, detecting and prosecuting terrorism financing. We are determined to fight against the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, in accordance with resolution 2178 of the UN Security Council.

8. We emphasise the importance of ensuring the rule of law in global commons, namely cyber, outer space and the sea. In this context, we welcome the First Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue and Cyber Dialogue held in October 2014 in Tokyo where stakeholders shared respective policies and identified potential ways forward. Building on this common ground, including the safety and stability of cyberspace based on free flow of information and open internet, we look forward to the next Dialogues in Brussels in 2015, whereby security aspects could be addressed. We are strongly committed to finalise negotiations on the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities by the end of 2015. We welcome continuing concrete cooperation in anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden within the relevant International Contact Group and through operational activities between the deployed units of Japan Self-Defense Forces and the EU’s Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR)-Operation ATALANTA. This includes joint exercises at sea as well as the support offered by Japan for the trial of suspected pirates currently held in the Seychelles

9. We reaffirm our determination to further cooperate on disarmament and non-proliferation in order to realise our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Despite the absence of a consensus outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference, Japan and the EU remain committed to cooperate to maintain and strengthen the credibility of the NPT regime and sustain the trust for multilateralism. We also continue towork towards the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the early commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive devices. We welcome the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty and remain committed to promoting its effective implementation and universalisation. We are committed to ensuring strict export control of arms and dual-use items and technologies, especially with regard to areas of tension.

10. Mindful of the uncertainties in the regional security environment, we condemn all violations of international law and of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. We underline the need for all parties to seek peaceful, and cooperative solutions to maritime claims, including through internationally recognised legal dispute settlement mechanisms, and to maintain full freedom of navigation and overflight of the high seas under international law as enshrined in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. The safety of navigation is essential for peaceful and sustainable development. We urge all parties to clarify the basis of their claims based on international law, and to refrain from unilateral actions, including the threat or use of force and coercion. We continue to observe the situation in the East and South China Sea and are concerned by any unilateral actions that change the status quo and increase tensions. We support the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the rapid conclusion of the negotiations to establish an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. We highlight the constructive role of practical confidence-building measures, such as the establishment of direct links of communication in cases of crisis and crisis management mechanisms in this regard.

11. We express our grave concern onthe North Korea’s continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and urge the North Korea to comply with its obligations under all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and its commitment under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, to return to full compliance with the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and to take immediate steps to end human rights violations, including the abductions issue. We urge North Korea to make constructive efforts to these ends.

12. We call on all sides to fully implement their commitment under the Minsk agreements to solve the conflict in Ukraine peacefully, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We remain determined never to recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and will continue to support the government of Ukraine to advance its reforms, aimed at strengthening and modernising Ukraine for the benefit of its citizens. We will also continue to coordinate our policies and explore new opportunities for cooperation aimed at the modernisation of countries in the context of the EU’s Eastern Partnership, as well as in the Western Balkans and the Black Sea region.

13. We express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Syria and reaffirm that only a Syrian-led inclusive political transition, based on the Geneva communiqué and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, can put an end to the conflict. We call on all Syrian parties to show commitment to a political process, which must be accompanied by confidence building measures. We commit to continue our support for Iraq to defeat ISIL/Da’esh. We also encourage all Iraqis to actively work for national reconciliation and to continue the path of reforms promoting more inclusive governance. In response to the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Yemen, we call on all parties to commit to the restart of a comprehensive political transition process through the UN-led negotiations and without resorting to violence. We welcome the important progress in the intensive diplomatic efforts at reaching solutions on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iranian nuclear issues. We reaffirm that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict; only a political settlement can provide a sustainable way forward. We call on the Libyan parties to do their utmost in order to find a common understanding based the proposal for a political agreement presented by UNSMIL on 27 April. We believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through negotiations, the outcome of which would see the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side peacefully and in mutual recognition. We would be ready to boost our respective relations with both parties, notably economically, to help them reap the full benefits of any peaceful settlement. Again this highlighted our shared conviction that international disputes and issues should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. We express our concern about the continuation of settlement policy, which threatens the two State solution. We call on both parties to take the measures in order to relaunch the negotiations.

Fostering growth, prosperity and sustainable development

14. We recognise the serious and urgent challenge posed by climate change. We are resolved to play our part in concluding this December in Paris a global Agreement applicable to all Parties that is ambitious, robust, inclusive and reflects changing global circumstances putting the world on track to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Agreement must include adequate provisions on the transparency and accountability of all Parties towards their commitments. While delivering on the ultimate objective of the Convention, it must also address adaptation to climate change impacts and help mobilise climate finance on the required transformational scale including effective utilisation of Green Climate Funds. It should also spur international cooperation to help Parties deliver on their commitments. We for our part intend to strengthen our bilateral cooperation on climate and energy, notably through the SPA, and to work together ever closer in the relevant international fora.

15. We will deliver on our existing climate pledges and continue to look for further pre-2020 mitigation opportunities. Looking beyond 2020 and determined to show leadership in the global effort towards the below 2°C goal, the EU explained the timeliness and ambition of its intended nationally determined contribution to the new Agreement, and Japan affirmed that it intends to submit an ambitious contributionexpeditiously. We commend those Parties that have submitted their contributions, especially those Parties with the least responsibilities and capabilities. We call on all others, and particularly on major and emerging economies, to submit theirs expeditiously, to base them on fairness and the requirements of science and to present them in a way promoting transparency and accountability.

16. We recognise the importance of a secure, sustainable, affordable and safe supply of energy and are resolved to use various greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures to realise a low carbon and climate-friendly economy. As both Japan and the EU are critically dependent on external energy sources, we intend to strengthen our cooperation including through Japan-EU energy policy dialogue on issues that are important for securing sustainable energy supply. We welcome the joint statement of the G7 Energy Ministerial meeting in Hamburg (11-12 May 2015). We will strengthen our partnership in fusion energy research through the multilateral ITER Project and the bilateral Broader Approach Activities for the next step towards the realisation of fusion energy, as well as on fission research and development.

17. We reiterate the need for gender equality and the importance of women’s full participation in society and the economy. We will strengthen our cooperation to promote the empowerment of women and the advancement of women’s rights globally. We concur on fostering cooperation towards a society with equal opportunities for women, including through World Assembly for Women in Tokyo. The EU welcomes Japan’s focus on empowerment of women and is ready to share examples of good practice in this area. We also emphasise the importance of promoting women’s active and meaningful participation globally to achieve sustainable peace and security as well as sustainable development.

18. As leading development donors and partners, we remain fully committed to agreeing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda that will coherently address poverty eradication and sustainable development. Such an agenda must also promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights where the aspect of human security is essential and without which sustainable development cannot happen. It should end extreme poverty, building on and completing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals. We will continue to strive jointly to achieve a transformative outcome at the September 2015 Summit, to which we expect all other partners – including emerging economies – to contribute their fair share. Recognising that tackling infrastructure shortfalls in the world effectively is crucial to lifting growth, we are committed to promoting quality infrastructure investment including through effective resource mobilisation in partnership with relevant stakeholders such as multilateral development banks and the private sector. Bilaterally, Japan and the EU have cooperated closely in the past on the nexus of security and sustainable development, such as through trust funds in countries like Afghanistan.Building on last year’s Japan-EU Development Policy Dialogue, we welcome progress in trilateral cooperation activities in Africa, such as Djibouti, Kenya and Zambia and we are exploring future cooperation possibilities in Africa and Asia for enhanced quality growth and human security.

19. We welcome the success of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. We will continue our close exchange of practices and views on this issue, including the recent earthquakes in Nepal, and reiterate the importance of incorporating disaster risk reduction measures into both development programmes and humanitarian assistance. In this context, we decided to organise an expert meeting on humanitarian assistance and emergency relief.

20. We consider that trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling – by sea, land and air alike – are forms of crime and severe violation of human rights. We aim to combat them and to address the political and socio-economic drivers of irregular migration. We underline the responsibility of the countries of origin, transit and destination to cooperate to prevent smuggling, human trafficking and forced labour, to disrupt the involved criminal groups and to eliminate their financing opportunities. We stand ready to assist the committed countries in this endeavour.We call upon all states to promote international efforts to this end, including by promoting relevant international agreements.

21. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen the multilateral trading system under the WTO by concluding the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), based on the principles of balance and realism. We are also committed to attain concrete outcomes of plurilateral negotiations, including the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), which will strengthen the multilateral trading system. We emphasise our determination to combat all forms of protectionism.

22. We have established a Strategic Partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation in order to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness and address common challenges in our societies. Recognising the expanding cooperation in this area since the last Summit, we endorsed today the Joint Vision towards a new strategic partnership in Research and Innovation between the Government of Japan and the European Commission as adopted by the 3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation. We highlighted thematic areas where we will see substantial and growing Japan-EU cooperation – ICT, aeronautics and materials including critical raw materials – as well as health, environment, energy and high-energy physics. We confirmed the importance of specific actions that will continue this positive momentum, such as establishing a new mechanism for the joint funding of research and innovation projects, and taking measures to enhance the mobility of researchers between Japan and the EU, including the new ERC-JSPS cooperation arrangement. We recognised the importance of exchanging views and coordinating where possible on Science, Technology and Innovation policies such as Open Science. We also acknowledged the positive role of the Horizon 2020 National Contact Point in Japan and the value of outreach activities to promote public understanding and engagement in our cooperation.

23. We are committed to reviewing scientifically the remaining restrictive measures for radionuclides in food and feed exportation from Japan, in particular those from Fukushima, and African Swine Fever, BSE and Avian Influenza-related measures on pork, beef and poultry products from the European Union.

24. Solid Japan-EU dialogue and cooperation across a broad range of sectors drive our Strategic Partnership along. We welcome the recent developments in the following sectors, including the successful dialogues held since the last Summit in Industry, ICT, Transport and Employment:

– The Japan-EU Industrial Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 put an emphasis on deepening regulatory cooperation involving both government and business, which was also welcomed by the Japan-EU Business Round Table. We express our great expectation for further progress in regulatory cooperation between Japan and the EU, while noting that the cooperation is also to be dealt with via the EPA/FTA negotiations.

– The Japan-EU ICT Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 reaffirmed the importance of developing and ensuring open and innovative digital economy based on multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. We welcome the signature of the EU-Japan Joint Declaration on 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks (5G) that will enhance cooperation to ensure global interoperability and strengthen collaboration on research activities.

– The Japan-EU Railway Industrial Dialogue held in December 2014 and May 2015 discussed global business opportunities in the railway sector. We recognise the value of enhanced cooperation, including on technical standards, both between the public authorities and business representatives of two of the world leading players in this sector. We are confident that the dialogue can lead to enhanced openness of our respective markets and to joint actions in the global market.

– The Japan-EU Symposium on Employment held in June 2014 deepened understanding on “Anticipating restructuring in a changing world of work” and “Managing restructuring and facing up to future challenges” among the government, worker, and employer representatives in Japan and the EU.

– The ongoing Japan-EU aviation dialogue, initiated in October 2012, will be crucial for fostering joint efforts towards a solid partnership in this field.

– Japan and EU will continue cooperation in sustainable management of forestry and sustainable use of fishery resources and in combatingillegal trade in wildlife products bilaterally or through multilateral organisations.

We also recognise the importance of active and continued contribution of the Business Round Table to further development of bilateral economic relationship, and welcome the recommendations it adopted in April 2015.

Deepening mutual understanding for future cooperation

25. We acknowledge that people-to-people and cultural exchange, and cooperation in higher education are vitally important to deepen mutual understanding, foster intellectual exchanges and engage broader public. The EU Erasmus+ programme and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions offer new scope for EU-Japan mobility of excellent students, researchers and staff. Prime Minister Abe announced the Japan-Europe MIRAI programme to invite 150 university/ post-graduate European students to Japan within the fiscal year 2015 and the EU leaders welcomed the prospect of further partnership-building. We also recognise the importance of exchange between civil society and cultural operators on both sides, including mutual support to promote student exchanges. We welcome parliamentary exchanges, such as the fruitful 35th Japan-EU Interparliamentary Meeting held last month.

General Market

Joint press statement following the 23rd Japan-EU Summit, Tokyo, 29 May 2015

Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, met in Tokyo on 29 May 2015 for the 23rd Summit between Japan and the European Union (EU) and issued the following joint statement.

Developing our Strategic Partnership

1. As close partners, Japan and the European Union are working together to address issues of vital importance to our citizens and the world based on common values and shared principles. We are conducting joint efforts to build peace, security and stability around the globe, by reinforcing our bilateral partnership and shouldering greater responsibilities for regional and global security. We are also negotiating landmark Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) /Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will deepen our cooperation and enhance our common prosperity.

2. Regular and substantial high-level meetings at summit and ministerial level drive our relations. We concurred today on an enhanced political dialogue on foreign and security policy at ministerial level. We will also intensify cooperation within the regional and inter-regional frameworks, such as the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Japan welcomes the EU’s continued interest in greater involvement in the East Asia Summit and acknowledges the EU’s effort to promote the rule of law in the region.

3. The SPA and EPA/ FTA hold the potential to lift our relations to a new strategic level. We welcome the progress made in both negotiations and task negotiators to further accelerate both processes in parallel. With the SPA, we are establishing a legally binding foundation for the coming decades. As strategic partners we want to consolidate, deepen and extend our cooperation to all areas of mutual interest, the bilateral issues but also the global challenges. Given our combined global economic weight and international standing, we have a common interest and responsibility to show joint leadership on these issues. To consolidate our solid and evolving trade and economic partnership and pave the way for the future, we reaffirm the importance of a highly comprehensive and ambitious EPA/ FTA to be concluded as soon as possible. Such agreement will address notably issues related to market access for goods, services and investment, procurement including railways, as well as those related to non-tariff measures and the protection of geographical indications as well as intellectual property rights. To this end we have entrusted our negotiators with the mandate to settle the outstanding differences with a view to reaching agreement encompassing all the key issues preferably by the end of 2015.

4. We endorsed a Joint Vision today to strengthen our Strategic Partnership in Research and Innovation, an engine for growth and job creation in our two economies. We also committed to cooperate on the research and development of the 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks together.

Acting together for global peace and security

5. 2015 marks the 70th year since the end of World War II and the 40th year since the conclusion of the Helsinki Final Act. In this context, we reflected on the importance of reconciliation and regional cooperation and recognised the contributions that both Japan and the EU have made to the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community over the last 70 years. We reaffirmed our commitment to further enhancing cooperation and collaboration in this field at both global and regional levels, based on the common values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and shared principles such as open markets and rules-based international system.

6. We welcome the expanding Japan-EU cooperation and partnership in the field of peace and security, including crisis management cooperation. The EU welcomes and supports the efforts of Japan in promoting and sustaining global security as set out in the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. We reviewed the successful cooperation over the last year between Japan and the EU on missions aimed at improving the security in Niger and Mali as well as efforts regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo. We committed to explore further cooperation in Ukraine and Somalia as a next step. A joint seminar of military and government staff in 2015 in Tokyo took stock of this positive track record we are building together, helped deepen mutual understanding on our respective security policies and explored future cooperation possibilities. We will continue such consultations and welcome the upcoming consultation between Ministry of Defense of Japan and the EU this year. We also discussed the possibility of future participation of Japan in CSDP missions, bearing in mind necessary steps to this end and the specific expertise that Japan has to offer in this area.

7. We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and also condemn the recent attacks which have been carried out by terrorist groups, including ISIL/Da’esh, in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. We are working to support international cooperation to counter-terrorism, through the UN, the Global Counter-terrorism Forum, and the G7 and to implement fully the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. We will intensify Japan-EU counter-terrorism cooperation, seeking measures to mitigate risk and strengthen border security, while protecting human rights and personal data. We reaffirm the need to utilise all available tools to fight and prevent terrorism and to coordinate capacity building efforts with third states. We also stress the importance of preventing, detecting and prosecuting terrorism financing. We are determined to fight against the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, in accordance with resolution 2178 of the UN Security Council.

8. We emphasise the importance of ensuring the rule of law in global commons, namely cyber, outer space and the sea. In this context, we welcome the First Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue and Cyber Dialogue held in October 2014 in Tokyo where stakeholders shared respective policies and identified potential ways forward. Building on this common ground, including the safety and stability of cyberspace based on free flow of information and open internet, we look forward to the next Dialogues in Brussels in 2015, whereby security aspects could be addressed. We are strongly committed to finalise negotiations on the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities by the end of 2015. We welcome continuing concrete cooperation in anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden within the relevant International Contact Group and through operational activities between the deployed units of Japan Self-Defense Forces and the EU’s Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR)-Operation ATALANTA. This includes joint exercises at sea as well as the support offered by Japan for the trial of suspected pirates currently held in the Seychelles

9. We reaffirm our determination to further cooperate on disarmament and non-proliferation in order to realise our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Despite the absence of a consensus outcome at the 2015 NPT Review Conference, Japan and the EU remain committed to cooperate to maintain and strengthen the credibility of the NPT regime and sustain the trust for multilateralism. We also continue to work towards the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and the early commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other explosive devices. We welcome the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty and remain committed to promoting its effective implementation and universalisation. We are committed to ensuring strict export control of arms and dual-use items and technologies, especially with regard to areas of tension.

10. Mindful of the uncertainties in the regional security environment, we condemn all violations of international law and of the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. We underline the need for all parties to seek peaceful, and cooperative solutions to maritime claims, including through internationally recognised legal dispute settlement mechanisms, and to maintain full freedom of navigation and overflight of the high seas under international law as enshrined in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. The safety of navigation is essential for peaceful and sustainable development. We urge all parties to clarify the basis of their claims based on international law, and to refrain from unilateral actions, including the threat or use of force and coercion. We continue to observe the situation in the East and South China Sea and are concerned by any unilateral actions that change the status quo and increase tensions. We support the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the rapid conclusion of the negotiations to establish an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. We highlight the constructive role of practical confidence-building measures, such as the establishment of direct links of communication in cases of crisis and crisis management mechanisms in this regard.

11. We express our grave concern on the North Korea‘s continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and urge the North Korea to comply with its obligations under all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and its commitment under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, to return to full compliance with the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and to take immediate steps to end human rights violations, including the abductions issue. We urge North Korea to make constructive efforts to these ends.

12. We call on all sides to fully implement their commitment under the Minsk agreements to solve the conflict in Ukraine peacefully, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We remain determined never to recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and will continue to support the government of Ukraine to advance its reforms, aimed at strengthening and modernising Ukraine for the benefit of its citizens. We will also continue to coordinate our policies and explore new opportunities for cooperation aimed at the modernisation of countries in the context of the EU’s Eastern Partnership, as well as in the Western Balkans and the Black Sea region.

13. We express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Syria and reaffirm that only a Syrian-led inclusive political transition, based on the Geneva communiqué and relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, can put an end to the conflict. We call on all Syrian parties to show commitment to a political process, which must be accompanied by confidence building measures. We commit to continue our support for Iraq to defeat ISIL/Da’esh. We also encourage all Iraqis to actively work for national reconciliation and to continue the path of reforms promoting more inclusive governance. In response to the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Yemen, we call on all parties to commit to the restart of a comprehensive political transition process through the UN-led negotiations and without resorting to violence. We welcome the important progress in the intensive diplomatic efforts at reaching solutions on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iranian nuclear issues. We reaffirm that there is no military solution to the Libyan conflict; only a political settlement can provide a sustainable way forward. We call on the Libyan parties to do their utmost in order to find a common understanding based the proposal for a political agreement presented by UNSMIL on 27 April. We believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through negotiations, the outcome of which would see the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side peacefully and in mutual recognition. We would be ready to boost our respective relations with both parties, notably economically, to help them reap the full benefits of any peaceful settlement. Again this highlighted our shared conviction that international disputes and issues should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. We express our concern about the continuation of settlement policy, which threatens the two State solution. We call on both parties to take the measures in order to relaunch the negotiations.

Fostering growth, prosperity and sustainable development

14. We recognise the serious and urgent challenge posed by climate change. We are resolved to play our part in concluding this December in Paris a global Agreement applicable to all Parties that is ambitious, robust, inclusive and reflects changing global circumstances putting the world on track to limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Agreement must include adequate provisions on the transparency and accountability of all Parties towards their commitments. While delivering on the ultimate objective of the Convention, it must also address adaptation to climate change impacts and help mobilise climate finance on the required transformational scale including effective utilisation of Green Climate Funds. It should also spur international cooperation to help Parties deliver on their commitments. We for our part intend to strengthen our bilateral cooperation on climate and energy, notably through the SPA, and to work together ever closer in the relevant international fora.

15. We will deliver on our existing climate pledges and continue to look for further pre-2020 mitigation opportunities. Looking beyond 2020 and determined to show leadership in the global effort towards the below 2°C goal, the EU explained the timeliness and ambition of its intended nationally determined contribution to the new Agreement, and Japan affirmed that it intends to submit an ambitious contribution expeditiously. We commend those Parties that have submitted their contributions, especially those Parties with the least responsibilities and capabilities. We call on all others, and particularly on major and emerging economies, to submit theirs expeditiously, to base them on fairness and the requirements of science and to present them in a way promoting transparency and accountability.

16. We recognise the importance of a secure, sustainable, affordable and safe supply of energy and are resolved to use various greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures to realise a low carbon and climate-friendly economy. As both Japan and the EU are critically dependent on external energy sources, we intend to strengthen our cooperation including through Japan-EU energy policy dialogue on issues that are important for securing sustainable energy supply. We welcome the joint statement of the G7 Energy Ministerial meeting in Hamburg (11-12 May 2015). We will strengthen our partnership in fusion energy research through the multilateral ITER Project and the bilateral Broader Approach Activities for the next step towards the realisation of fusion energy, as well as on fission research and development.

17. We reiterate the need for gender equality and the importance of women’s full participation in society and the economy. We will strengthen our cooperation to promote the empowerment of women and the advancement of women’s rights globally. We concur on fostering cooperation towards a society with equal opportunities for women, including through World Assembly for Women in Tokyo. The EU welcomes Japan’s focus on empowerment of women and is ready to share examples of good practice in this area. We also emphasise the importance of promoting women’s active and meaningful participation globally to achieve sustainable peace and security as well as sustainable development.

18. As leading development donors and partners, we remain fully committed to agreeing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda that will coherently address poverty eradication and sustainable development. Such an agenda must also promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of law, gender equality and human rights where the aspect of human security is essential and without which sustainable development cannot happen. It should end extreme poverty, building on and completing the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals. We will continue to strive jointly to achieve a transformative outcome at the September 2015 Summit, to which we expect all other partners – including emerging economies – to contribute their fair share. Recognising that tackling infrastructure shortfalls in the world effectively is crucial to lifting growth, we are committed to promoting quality infrastructure investment including through effective resource mobilisation in partnership with relevant stakeholders such as multilateral development banks and the private sector. Bilaterally, Japan and the EU have cooperated closely in the past on the nexus of security and sustainable development, such as through trust funds in countries like Afghanistan. Building on last year’s Japan-EU Development Policy Dialogue, we welcome progress in trilateral cooperation activities in Africa, such as Djibouti, Kenya and Zambia and we are exploring future cooperation possibilities in Africa and Asia for enhanced quality growth and human security.

19. We welcome the success of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. We will continue our close exchange of practices and views on this issue, including the recent earthquakes in Nepal, and reiterate the importance of incorporating disaster risk reduction measures into both development programmes and humanitarian assistance. In this context, we decided to organise an expert meeting on humanitarian assistance and emergency relief.

20. We consider that trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling – by sea, land and air alike – are forms of crime and severe violation of human rights. We aim to combat them and to address the political and socio-economic drivers of irregular migration. We underline the responsibility of the countries of origin, transit and destination to cooperate to prevent smuggling, human trafficking and forced labour, to disrupt the involved criminal groups and to eliminate their financing opportunities. We stand ready to assist the committed countries in this endeavour. We call upon all states to promote international efforts to this end, including by promoting relevant international agreements.

21. We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen the multilateral trading system under the WTO by concluding the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), based on the principles of balance and realism. We are also committed to attain concrete outcomes of plurilateral negotiations, including the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), and Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA), which will strengthen the multilateral trading system. We emphasise our determination to combat all forms of protectionism.

22. We have established a Strategic Partnership in Science, Technology and Innovation in order to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness and address common challenges in our societies. Recognising the expanding cooperation in this area since the last Summit, we endorsed today the Joint Vision towards a new strategic partnership in Research and Innovation between the Government of Japan and the European Commission as adopted by the 3rd EU-Japan Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation. We highlighted thematic areas where we will see substantial and growing Japan-EU cooperation – ICT, aeronautics and materials including critical raw materials – as well as health, environment, energy and high-energy physics. We confirmed the importance of specific actions that will continue this positive momentum, such as establishing a new mechanism for the joint funding of research and innovation projects, and taking measures to enhance the mobility of researchers between Japan and the EU, including the new ERC-JSPS cooperation arrangement. We recognised the importance of exchanging views and coordinating where possible on Science, Technology and Innovation policies such as Open Science. We also acknowledged the positive role of the Horizon 2020 National Contact Point in Japan and the value of outreach activities to promote public understanding and engagement in our cooperation.

23. We are committed to reviewing scientifically the remaining restrictive measures for radionuclides in food and feed exportation from Japan, in particular those from Fukushima, and African Swine Fever, BSE and Avian Influenza-related measures on pork, beef and poultry products from the European Union.

24. Solid Japan-EU dialogue and cooperation across a broad range of sectors drive our Strategic Partnership along. We welcome the recent developments in the following sectors, including the successful dialogues held since the last Summit in Industry, ICT, Transport and Employment:

– The Japan-EU Industrial Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 put an emphasis on deepening regulatory cooperation involving both government and business, which was also welcomed by the Japan-EU Business Round Table. We express our great expectation for further progress in regulatory cooperation between Japan and the EU, while noting that the cooperation is also to be dealt with via the EPA/FTA negotiations.

– The Japan-EU ICT Policy Dialogue held in March 2015 reaffirmed the importance of developing and ensuring open and innovative digital economy based on multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. We welcome the signature of the EU-Japan Joint Declaration on 5th generation mobile telecommunications networks (5G) that will enhance cooperation to ensure global interoperability and strengthen collaboration on research activities.

– The Japan-EU Railway Industrial Dialogue held in December 2014 and May 2015 discussed global business opportunities in the railway sector. We recognise the value of enhanced cooperation, including on technical standards, both between the public authorities and business representatives of two of the world leading players in this sector. We are confident that the dialogue can lead to enhanced openness of our respective markets and to joint actions in the global market.

– The Japan-EU Symposium on Employment held in June 2014 deepened understanding on “Anticipating restructuring in a changing world of work” and “Managing restructuring and facing up to future challenges” among the government, worker, and employer representatives in Japan and the EU.

– The ongoing Japan-EU aviation dialogue, initiated in October 2012, will be crucial for fostering joint efforts towards a solid partnership in this field.

– Japan and EU will continue cooperation in sustainable management of forestry and sustainable use of fishery resources and in combating illegal trade in wildlife products bilaterally or through multilateral organisations.

We also recognise the importance of active and continued contribution of the Business Round Table to further development of bilateral economic relationship, and welcome the recommendations it adopted in April 2015.

Deepening mutual understanding for future cooperation

25. We acknowledge that people-to-people and cultural exchange, and cooperation in higher education are vitally important to deepen mutual understanding, foster intellectual exchanges and engage broader public. The EU Erasmus+ programme and Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions offer new scope for EU-Japan mobility of excellent students, researchers and staff. Prime Minister Abe announced the Japan-Europe MIRAI programme to invite 150 university/ post-graduate European students to Japan within the fiscal year 2015 and the EU leaders welcomed the prospect of further partnership-building. We also recognise the importance of exchange between civil society and cultural operators on both sides, including mutual support to promote student exchanges. We welcome parliamentary exchanges, such as the fruitful 35th Japan-EU Interparliamentary Meeting held last month.