Japan-Netherlands Relations

Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership for Sustainable Peace and Prosperity between Japan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands

November 11, 2015

In their bilateral meeting on the occasion of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s visit to Japan in November 2015, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Mark Rutte decided to launch a Strategic Partnership which aims to address common challenges and to further strengthen the bilateral ties between Japan and the Netherlands in the years to come.

1. The two leaders confirm that the strategic partnership is based on the long and unique history of the amicable exchanges of over 400 years between the two countries and also on common values including the rule of law to which both Japan and the Netherlands attach extreme importance.

2. The two leaders recall that the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to Japan in October 2014 marked the excellent state of bilateral relations and paved the way for further deepening of friendly relations and mutual understanding between the two countries.

3. For 70 years since the end of World War II, the international community has made great progress in building an international system based on the principles of the rule of law and human rights. Prime Minister Rutte appreciates Japan’s contributions over the last 70 years in these fields. The two leaders value the role of the Japan-Netherlands “Peace Exchange Program,” which has been promoting a spirit of reconciliation between the two countries.

4. The two leaders reiterate their resolve to contribute to peace and stability in the international community. Prime Minister Rutte welcomes and supports Japan’s Legislation for Peace and Security, which enables Japan to play a more proactive role from the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. They confirm that both countries will strengthen their security and defense cooperation by enhancing their exchanges.

5. The two leaders share the importance of the rule of law for the international community including the freedom of navigation and overflight over the high seas, and stress the importance to settle disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law. They share concerns caused by any unilateral actions, including the threat or use of force and coercion, that change the status quo and raise tensions in the East and South China Sea. They 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.

6. The two leaders call on all sides to fully implement their commitment under the Minsk agreements to solve the conflict in eastern Ukraine peacefully, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They remain determined never to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and will continue to support Ukraine to advance its reforms, aimed at strengthening and modernizing Ukraine for the benefit of its citizens. The two leaders reaffirm that those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 must be held to account and that all States should cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability, as demanded by Security Council resolution 2166.

7. The two leaders express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian and security situations 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. They call on all Syrian parties to show commitment to a political process, which must be accompanied by confidence building measures.

8. The two leaders express their grave concern over North Korea’s continued development of nuclear and ballistic missile programs and urge North Korea to refrain from any provocation, to comply with all the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement, and to return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards. They also urge North Korea to immediately end human rights violations, including the early resolution of the abductions issue.

9. The two leaders strongly condemn terrorism in all forms and manifestations. They confirm that both countries will assess options for cooperation on the bilateral, regional and international levels to pre-empt signs of radicalization and to prevent and combat acts of terrorism and violent extremism in all forms and manifestations in accordance with applicable international law.

10. The two leaders reiterate the urgent need to reform the United Nations system, including the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and the Security Council, in order to strengthen its capacity to address challenges more effectively. The two leaders will cooperate to achieve concrete outcomes on Security Council reform during this 70th session of the UN General Assembly. The two leaders reconfirm their support for expansion of the membership of the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories. They recognize that Japan would be a legitimate candidate for permanent membership in an expanded and reformed Council.

11. The two leaders reconfirm the importance of the NPT as the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. They will continue their efforts in the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) with the purpose of strengthening the NPT regime to achieve peace and security in a world free of nuclear weapons.

12. The two leaders confirm that Japan and the Netherlands have a common interest in promoting an open, free and secure cyberspace that enables social and economic prosperity worldwide. They are both committed to cyber capacity building, in particular through the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) to enable third countries to access the economic and social benefits of cyber space.

13. The two leaders confirm that Japan and the Netherlands as trusted trading partners are fully committed to maintaining a fair and transparent bilateral investment climate and an international economic order based on free trade, transparency and the rule of law. They share the objective of sustainable and balanced growth, fostering job creation, countering excessive macroeconomic imbalances and combating all forms of protectionism.

14. The two leaders are determined to further improve competitiveness by fostering foreign direct investment, and by enhancing collaboration in sectors including agriculture, science, technology and innovation, renewable energy and cybersecurity. They underlined that both for Japan and the Netherlands safeguarding future prosperity and quality of life in an ageing society is a key issue, and that a rising dependency ratio constitutes a challenge for pension and healthcare systems, the overall economy, and families and individuals.

15. The two leaders consider the role of sustainable agriculture of crucial importance for addressing today’s and future challenges in ensuring food security, economic growth, prosperity of rural development, and nature conservation, and at the same time recognize challenges in such fields as environmental burden and climate change. The two leaders recognize that innovation, integration and dissemination of knowledge, climate smart agriculture, cooperation between government, private sector and research institutes, and cooperation within international networks are key to sustainable agricultural development.

16. The two leaders welcome the recent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which encompasses the idea of human security and global partnership, and holistic and integrated efforts in such fields as health, education, disaster risk reduction, quality infrastructure, and sustainable consumption and production patterns. They affirm their continued efforts to better coordinate their development cooperation in the course of the implementation of the agenda. They confirm that one of the keys is using development cooperation as a catalyst to promote private investment which leads to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. At the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris this year (COP21), they are resolved to actively contribute to achieving agreement on a fair and effective new international framework applicable to all Parties.

17. The two leaders welcome the success of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which was held in Sendai, Japan in March 2015. They reaffirm their commitment to continuing the exchange of practices and views on this issue including flood disaster and reiterate the importance of incorporating disaster risk reduction policies into both development programs and humanitarian assistance. In this connection, Prime Minister Rutte supports the proposal by Prime Minister Abe to designate November 5 as the “World Tsunami Day” with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of taking precautionary measures against tsunamis.

18. In line with the Joint Press Statement issued at the 23rd Japan-EU Summit, Tokyo, 29 May 2015, the two leaders reaffirm the importance of a highly comprehensive and ambitious Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) / Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be concluded as soon as possible to consolidate solid and evolving trade and economic partnerships between Japan and the EU. They also confirm the importance of completing the negotiation as rapidly as possible of a landmark Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), which will provide a legally binding foundation for the coming decades.

19. The two leaders underline that the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo provide many opportunities for both countries to deepen cooperation in the field of sport.

Annex to the Joint Statement: Japan-Netherlands Cooperation for a More Peaceful and Prosperous World (PDF)Open a New Window