Joint Statement between Japan and the Republic of Ghana
on the Occasion of the Official Working Visit to Japan by
H.E. Mr. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana
1. H.E. Mr. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, and Mrs. Lordina Dramani Mahama paid an Official Working Visit to Japan from 17 to 20 May 2016, at the invitation of the Government of Japan.
2. H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and President Mahama held a bilateral summit meeting in Tokyo on 18 May 2016. Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Mahama’s second visit as President since his last visit in May 2013. President Mahama offered his condolences to the victims of the Earthquake Centered in the Kumamoto Region of Kumamoto Prefecture 2016, and expressed his sympathies to the people in the affected areas. Both leaders showed their satisfaction with the development of their long-standing friendly and cooperative relations that has been nurtured between the two countries in both bilateral and multilateral contexts. They also confirmed their determination to further strengthen their ties and noted that the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year would be an excellent opportunity to do so.
3. Both leaders affirmed the importance of universal values, such as democracy and the rule of law. They also emphasised that they would strengthen dialogue and cooperation to ensure peace and stability of the international community while upholding the international system based on the rule of law. President Mahama welcomed Japan’s intention to contribute even more proactively in securing peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the international community, and supported Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation as well as Legislation for Peace and Stability, which took effect in March this year as its concrete practice of that policy.
4. Prime Minister Abe highly commended Ghana’s long history of stable democracy, its achievement in economic growth and steady social improvements in recent years, as well as its active contribution to peace and stability in Africa and the rest of the world, and expressed his determination to continue supporting Ghana’s efforts. President Mahama expressed his gratitude for Japan’s long-standing assistance to Ghana’s socio-economic growth and stability.
5. Both leaders welcomed a recent increase in the activities of Japanese companies in Ghana, which is considered as one of the economic gateways to West Africa for the Japanese business community, and recognised the benefit of further enhancement of economic ties for both sides. In this regard, both leaders confirmed their willingness to accelerate and conclude at the earliest possible timing the ongoing negotiations of a bilateral investment treaty. Both leaders also shared the recognition of the importance of the conclusion of an avoidance of double taxation convention between Japan and Ghana to further enhance investment and economic exchanges between the two countries and decided to start consultations in this regard at the earliest possible timing.
6. Both leaders stressed the importance of quality infrastructure in Ghana and expressed their intention to promote Japan’s role in this regard, based on the outcome of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) and with a view to further strengthening cooperation towards the next TICAD summit meeting. From this perspective, President Mahama expressed his sincere gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s pledge today on the Construction of a New Bridge across the Volta River on the Eastern Corridor Project.
7. Both leaders emphasised the importance of promoting public health in line with universal health coverage, as prerequisite for Ghana’s human security and further growth. In this connection, both leaders welcomed today’s signing of the Exchange of Notes concerning the Project for the Construction of Advanced Research Center for Infectious Diseases at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. Both leaders also shared the view on the importance of supporting community-level efforts in the health sector. From this perspective, Prime Minister Abe welcomed the recent launching in Ghana of the revised policy of “Community-based Health Programme and Services (CHPS)”, and expressed his intention to continue supporting the implementation of Ghana’s CHPS policy.
8. Both leaders shared the beliefs that people-to-people exchanges are essential for mutual understanding and recognised the vital role of such exchanges, which date back to the days even before Ghana’s independence. In this regard, both leaders welcomed today’s signing of the Exchange of Notes concerning the Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship. Both leaders also expressed their willingness to continue people-to-people exchanges through a variety of other programmes such as African Business Education Initiative for Youth (ABE Initiative), Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) training programmes and sports exchanges through “Sport for Tomorrow” Programme.
9. Both leaders welcomed that the next TICAD summit meeting would be held in August this year for the first time in Africa and confirmed their determination to strengthen their cooperation to make this meeting a success. Prime Minister Abe expressed his view that TICAD VI would be an important opportunity to support Africa’s development agenda, Agenda 2063, and that Japan would demonstrate concrete contributions which are distinctive to Japan, such as quality infrastructure investment and human resource development, promoting science, technology and innovations, strengthening Public-Private Partnership and engagement of the private sector, under the principle of human security. Prime Minister Abe also expressed his expectation for President Mahama’s contribution to TICAD VI. Responding to Prime Minister Abe’s invitation, President Mahama highly appreciated Japan’s contribution and stated that he would attend TICAD VI.
10. Both leaders shared the view that the United Nations Security Council does not fully reflect the realities of the international community in the 21st century, and expressed their determination to greatly enhance their cooperation towards its reform to increase its effectiveness, transparency and representativeness. They emphasised the importance of building upon the recent developments in the Intergovernmental Negotiations in New York and of moving the process forward, including through increased interactions and consultations. In particular, they shared the recognition on the necessity of holding a dialogue between the G4 (Brazil, Germany, India and Japan) and the African Union (AU). Both leaders urged all UN Member States to work in a concerted manner towards this end. They also expressed their intention to enhance their coordination on the issues facing the UN, as Japan currently serves as a member of the Security Council.
11. Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation for Ghana’s consistent support to Japan’s efforts in disarmament and non-proliferation. Recognising the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, both leaders affirmed the importance of the continuity of the IAEA under the leadership of the Director General Mr. Yukiya Amano, and shared the intention on a continuous cooperation for the IAEA’s “Atoms for Peace and Development”.
12. Both leaders welcomed the adoption of the Paris Agreement by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) and emphasised the importance of its prompt entry into force and effective implementation. They reaffirmed further cooperation in addressing climate change, including through their bilateral cooperation.
13. Both leaders shared the intention to strengthen their cooperation in addressing a wide range of global issues such as countering terrorism and violent extremism, as well as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
14. President Mahama thanked Prime Minister Abe and the Government of Japan for their warm hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. President Mahama also wished Prime Minister Abe success of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and extended an invitation to Prime Minister Abe to visit Ghana at a date to be confirmed through diplomatic channels.