The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)

October 20, 2014
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the ASEM 10 that was held in Milan from Wednesday, October 15 to Friday, October 17 (local time). The representatives of 51 countries and two organizations attended the Meeting. The outline and main outcomes of the Meeting are as follows.

1. Economics: Promoted the achievements of Abenomics and new initiatives in the Growth Strategy (for the first time in Europe since the June revision)

(1) Keynote speech at the Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) closing session

Based on the key theme of "Actively taking on challenges, being open to other countries and innovating" that is the basic principle throughout the Growth Strategy, Prime Minister Abe:

  • expressed the resolve to transform Japan into a more open and attractive market in areas such as trade and investment, agriculture and energy, via the Growth Strategy that was revised in June, and to transform it into a society in which all people shine, including women.
  • promoted the fact that Japan will continue to impart great inspiration and impact to Asia and Europe via these initiatives.

(2) Comments as the lead speaker at the ASEM First Plenary Session, entitled "Promoting Financial and Economic Cooperation through Enhanced Europe-Asia Connectivity."

Based on the session themes of economic revitalization and fiscal reconstruction, and enhancing Europe-Asia connectivity, Prime Minister Abe:

  • said that in order for Asia and Europe to become engines driving the global economy, reform on both the economic and fiscal fronts will be indispensable, and referred to specific data to explain that Japan is achieving steady results through the policies of "the three arrows."
  • stated that the Growth Strategy that was revised in June will contribute to bringing Asia and Europe together through "trade and investment", based on a foundation of "infrastructure" and with "the power of people," and furthermore, at a regional level.

2. Global issues: Promoted Japan's initiatives on global issues

Comments at the ASEM Second Plenary Session, entitled "Europe-Asia partnership in addressing global matters in an inter-connected world."

Based on the session themes, which included the development agenda, disaster risk reduction, climate change, the rights and empowerment of women and the disabled, Prime Minister Abe:

  • explained Japan's latest responses to the Ebola virus disease at the beginning of his comments.
  • explained, with 2015 as a keyword, Japan's initiatives in (1) the establishment of the post-2015 development agenda and the post-Hyogo Framework for Action; (2) the promotion of the creation of "a society in which women shine"; and (3) the field of climate change.
  • delivered a message that these three topics have in common the following faith: empathy for people with placing them center, the upholding of commitments, and the translating them into actions, and stated that Japan would make a greater contribution to global issues from the perspective of making a "Proactive Contribution to Peace."

3. International and regional issues: Promoted Japan's standpoints on and contributions to the peace and stability of the international community

Comments at the ASEM Retreat Session, entitled "Enhancing Dialogue and Cooperation between Europe and Asia and Future Direction of ASEM"

Prime Minister Abe mentioned cooperation with Asia and Europe based on the policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace", and explained Japan's standpoints on and contributions to: (1) the situation in the Middle East, including ISIL; (2) the situation in Ukraine; (3) North Korea's nuclear and missile development program and the abductions issue; and (4) maritime security, including the three principles of "the rule of law at sea."

4. Bilateral meetings etc.: Strengthened diplomacy that takes a panoramic perspective of the world map through meetings and discussions with the leaders of participating countries

(1) Held the first summit meeting with the Nordic-Baltic 8 (NB8)

  • Prime Minister Abe exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine with the NB8, which is an influential alliance that Japan shares fundamental values with. He also explained the situation in East Asia.
  • Cooperation on utilizing the Arctic and preserving its environment, promoting the active role of women and utilizing innovation was confirmed.

(2) Held meetings and discussions with the leaders and other senior officials from over 30 countries and regions, including the EU, Italy, Ukraine, Thailand and Russia

  • Prime Minister Abe held his first meeting with Mr. Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine
    The two leaders exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and other issues. Prime Minister Abe explained Japan's proactive contribution and support for the stability of Ukraine, and President Poroshenko expressed his gratitude for this.
  • Prime Minister Abe held his first meeting with Mr. Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
    The two leaders exchanged views on Thailand's democratization and Japan-Thailand economic relations.
  • Prime Minister Abe held the Japan-Russia Summit Meeting for the first time in approximately eight months
    The two leaders confirmed that they will hold a summit meeting taking enough time on the margins of the APEC meeting in Beijing, and exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East, including ISIL, and the situation in Ukraine.

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