Japan-Egypt Relations

Japan-Egypt Joint Statement


Cooperation for the leap towards a new stage in bilateral relations

February 29, 2016
Japanese

(Introduction)

1. Upon the invitation by H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, paid an official visit to Japan from 28th of February to 2nd of March 2016.

2. Prime Minister Abe welcomed the visit of President El-Sisi in response to the visit of Prime Minister Abe to Egypt in January 2015 and expressed his confidence that this visit will contribute to further development in bilateral relations in all fields. President El-Sisi expressed his appreciation to the hospitality by His Majesty Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Abe and expressed his conviction that this visit has been the first step of the leap towards a new stage in the Japan-Egypt relations. Both leaders reaffirmed the significance of mutual visits at the summit-level, Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Egypt in January 2015 and this President El-Sisi’s visit to Japan, which have been made relatively in a short period of time, to the development in the bilateral relations. Both leaders shared the recognition of the importance of continued high level mutual visits, including summit and ministerial levels, as appropriate for the bilateral relations which have reached the new stage.

3. Prime Minister Abe, recalling the current situation in the Middle East and showing strong solidarity with all people desiring peace in the region, highly valued Egypt’s efforts for achieving peace and stability in the region, and underlined that Egypt is the cornerstone of stability in the Middle East. Prime Minister Abe also commended Egypt on combating in the forefront with bravery and sparing no sacrifice against international terrorism which is becoming more serious. Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed that Japan strongly supports Egypt and cooperates hand in hand in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East and worldwide.

4. In response to the mutual visits by both leaders, they renewed their commitments towards further strengthening the historical and friendly relations between the two nations, and reiterated their willingness to further develop their strategic relationship in particular, in the field of education and development of human resources, and to continue to work towards promoting regional and international stability and development.

5. Both leaders concurred with their views that enriching people’s life is essential to achieve stability and development. Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation and support for continuous efforts by Egypt in realizing economic and social reforms such as convening Egypt Economic Development Conference, enacting the new investment law, opening the new Suez Canal, and carrying out reforms in the fields of education and health. President El-Sisi highlighted cooperation with Japan for sustainable development of economy and society in Egypt, and expressed his hope for further cooperation with Japan in the fields of education, human resources development and health, as well as more investment by Japanese companies in the fields of electricity, water and energy, and in the Suez Canal Area Development.

Political and Security Cooperation for achieving stability and development

6. Both leaders appreciated the first political and security dialogue among Ministries of Foreign Affairs and security authorities, and defense dialogue which were held in October 2015, and confirmed the importance of regular dialogues, and increasing exchanges among the above mentioned authorities at various levels and personnel exchanges.

7. Prime Minister Abe praised Egypt for its implementation of the final step of the Road Map by holding the parliamentary elections successfully, and convening a new parliament consisting of its members elected in a fair and democratic way.

8. Both leaders expressed their expectations for increasing exchanges between the parliaments of Japan and Egypt. Both leaders welcomed establishing the Japan-Egypt Parliamentary Friendship Association in Egypt.

Cooperation on Education, Human and Cultural Exchange

(Education)

9. Both leaders concurred with promoting cooperation in the education sector by formulating the Egypt-Japan Education Partnership (EJEP) (PDF)Open a New Window based on their belief that the education and development of human resources are the foundation of a nation building and the most important project for building a peaceful and prosperous society. Recognizing the importance of nurturing human resources with rich sense of humanity who can contribute to the economic and social development of society, President El-Sisi expressed his interests in Japanese style education which places priority on nurturing discipline and collaborative spirit and character building. In addition, both leaders agreed to promote holistic cooperation in education from early childhood education, basic education, higher education to technical education.

10. Both leaders confirmed to establish a Steering Committee, which is composed of high-ranking officials from both governments, as a mechanism for smoothly implementing cooperation between the two countries on the EJEP.

11. Prime Minister Abe announced to provide support in the areas of basic education and technical education through various ways, including dispatching experts and implementing training for teachers, in order to carry out education which introduces Japanese approach in designated model schools in Egypt. President El-Sisi expressed his intention to expand and disseminate the practices at the model schools supported by Japan to other schools in Egypt. Both leaders expressed their expectations for possible collaboration with Japanese companies in the areas of technical education and vocational training.

12. Prime Minister Abe announced his readiness to receive at least 2,500 Egyptian in Japan in the coming 5 years, thus doubling the number of students and trainees from Egypt to Japan, with a view to strengthening education and human resources development in Egypt. President El-Sisi welcomed this announcement.

13. Both leaders confirmed their continuous support for Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST), and expressed their expectations for E-JUST to be a core of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of higher education and science and technology, and to play a key role in strengthening bilateral cooperation in the field of education. Both leaders committed to take utmost measures for the completion of the university campus construction by the Government of Egypt, and smooth management of the university, in addition to continued assistance by the Government of Japan such as dispatching experts and professors as well as providing necessary equipment. Both leaders confirmed their intentions to provide cooperation for establishing the faculty of engineering and to consider possible ways for establishing faculties of humanities and business, for the expansion of E-JUST through cooperation by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and with support from partner universities in Japan.

(Exchanges in the fields of youth and sports)

14. Both leaders reiterated their willingness to strengthen exchanges between two countries in the fields of youth and sports. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to strengthen exchanges through “Sport For Tomorrow” program towards 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, including improvement of weightlifting training equipment in Egypt, in addition to his willingness to invite Egyptian youth to “Ship for World Youth Leaders” program in fiscal year 2016. President El-Sisi welcomed it and mentioned that the year of 2016 is designated as “the year of youth in Egypt” and reiterated his expectation for strengthening youth exchanges and sports exchanges with Japan, including the martial arts. Furthermore, in view of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of a friendship relation between Tokyo and Cairo, both leaders expressed their hope to develop the relation further including the above mentioned fields.

(Cultural exchange/Provision of information)

15. Both leaders confirmed their intention to strengthen a wide range of cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. As part of that, both leaders affirmed the importance of expanding Japanese language education and promoting Japan studies in Egypt. Both leaders welcomed the active promotion of Japanese culture in Egypt from its traditional culture to subculture including Japanese cuisine.

16. Both leaders welcomed the ongoing dialogue and cooperation between research institutes of the two counties, and stressed that intellectual exchanges of respective research institutions enhance further the bilateral relations. Furthermore, in the light of Egypt being a center of intellectual and information in the Middle East and African region and Arab world, Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of offering in and through Egypt the information of Japan in all aspects, and President El-Sisi welcomed it.

Cooperation for the Sustainable and Comprehensive Economic and Social Development

(Introduction)

17. Both leaders welcomed the satisfactory development of economic relations between Japan and Egypt and recognized that further strengthening the economic relations is vital to enhance the partnership between Japan and Egypt. Both leaders welcomed the signing of MOUs and other documents in such areas as private investment in electricity, energy and the Suez Canal area development, and confirmed their intention to promote and support projects worth around 20 billion US dollars in which Japanese companies participate. Both leaders also welcomed the signing of MOU between Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Ministry of International Cooperation of Egypt for supporting export and investment in Egypt by Japanese companies. Both sides welcomed the 10th Joint Egypt-Japan Business Council meeting to be convened and affirmed that further discussions on strengthening economic and investment relations by holding the Egypt-Japan Economic Working Group would contribute to enhancing the business cooperation between the two countries. President El-Sisi welcomed interests expressed by Japanese companies in such fields as electricity and water in the Suez Canal Area Development.

18. Prime Minister Abe affirmed intention of Government of Japan to continuously and strongly support “high-quality infrastructure” developments and operations of Japanese companies in Egypt through Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), finance by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and trade insurance by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

(Electricity and Energy)

19. Prime Minister Abe announced Japan's intention to extend new ODA loan to the Electricity Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (41.1 billion yen) in order to increase and maintain the capacity of electricity generation of existing power stations in Egypt. President El-Sisi expressed his appreciation for Japan’s longstanding Official Development Assistance (ODA), as well as this project as it would quickly contribute to improving electricity generation in Egypt. Both leaders welcomed the signing of the Exchange of Notes for the Electricity Distribution System Improvement Project (about 24.8 billion yen) and the Hurghada Photovoltaic Power Plant Project (about 11.2 billion yen). Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to pursue cooperation in the form of public-private partnership benefiting from the environmentally friendly high standard Japanese technologies and experience, in such areas as coal-fired power plants, procurement of coal for the plants, field of renewable energy, improving electricity transmission and distribution system, drilling rig for natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea, refinery and highly efficient steel production. President El-Sisi welcomed such intentions (Japan-Egypt Joint Initiative for Cooperation in the Electricity Sector (PDF)Open a New Window).

(Health)

20. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to consider cooperation toward realization of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Egypt, in the fields of countermeasures against infectious diseases and maternal and child health, and through strengthening of the healthcare system, training physicians and nurses by providing them with training opportunities in Japan, collaborating with private companies, hospital management, and improving emergency medical care. President El-Sisi welcomed this intention. Both leaders expressed their hope for early completion of the construction of Outpatient Facility at Cairo University Pediatric Hospital funded by grant financial assistance of Japan. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to contribute to the improvement of the medical standards in Egypt by utilizing advanced technologies and equipment of Japanese companies in a form of public-private partnership, and President El-Sisi welcomed the intention. (Japan-Egypt Cooperation Initiative in Health Care (PDF)Open a New Window).

(Grand Egyptian Museum: GEM)

21. Both leaders reaffirmed that the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) Construction Project symbolizes the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries, welcomed the activities of the Joint Committee, which is composed of government officials from both countries and was established last year, and confirmed to strengthen their cooperation for early completion of the project. For this purpose, Prime Minister Abe made clear that Japan will expeditiously proceed with the consultation of additional yen loan and extended Japan’s intention to continue long-lasting cooperation in the field of conservation and restoration of cultural properties, and to provide support which includes dispatch of experts to facilitate the management and the preparation of exhibition at GEM. It is expected that state-of-the-art technologies and products of Japanese companies will be introduced to GEM.

(Transportation and Traffic)

22. Both leaders welcomed the signing of the Exchange of Note for the Borg El Arab International Airport Extension Project (18.2 billion Yen). They also welcomed the commencement of the bidding process for the Greater Cairo Metro Line no. 4 Phase 1 Project and reiterated their will to strengthen cooperation for the early completion of the project for a much needed operation in order to improve the traffic condition in Cairo and to promote tourism. Both leaders confirmed that two countries would consider a possibility of future cooperation for the development of public transport network in Egypt, by benefiting from Japanese technology, including Cairo Metro Lines, based on a wide range of cooperation in the transport sector.

(Disaster prevention)

23. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to share its experiences and technologies in the field of natural disaster prevention, based on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and the Sendai Declaration adopted at the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March, 2015, as well as the Sendai Cooperation Initiative for Disaster Risk Reduction announced by the government of Japan.

(Empowerment of Women)

24. Both leaders shared the recognition that the political, social and economic participation of women, and protection and empowerment of women are vital for the realization of sustainable social and economic development. Both leaders welcomed a successfully convened roundtable discussion on the role of women in social and economic development, which was co-hosted by the National Council of Women, the government of Japan and UN Women in February 2016, and confirmed their commitment to continue to promote cooperation in this field.

(Tourism)

25. Both leaders noted the importance of tourism in development of the Egyptian economy. Prime Minister Abe welcomed the intention of Egypt Air to resume its direct flight services between Japan and Egypt as it will promote not only tourism but also mutual human interactions and business.

(Agriculture and Irrigation)

26. Both leaders noted the importance of agricultural production for the stability of economy and people’s lives in Egypt. President El-Sisi praised the support extended by Japan in the fields of agriculture and irrigation. Both leaders expressed their expectations for “the Construction of the New Dirout Group of Regulators” funded by ODA Yen loan. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to continue its support in the fields of agriculture and irrigation, such as the support for raising farmer’s income through technical assistance in Upper Egypt and promotion of effective utilization of water resource.

Cooperation to the regional and international peace and stability

27. Both leaders reviewed the international situations since Japan-Egypt summit meeting took place in January 2015, and shared the importance of cooperation as non-permanent members of the Security Council of the UN and their contribution to regional and international peace, stability and prosperity, particularly in the Middle-East and Africa. In this regard, Prime Minister Abe reiterated the importance of Japan’s policy of "Proactive Contribution to Peace" based on the principle of international cooperation and briefed that the government of Japan enacted the “Legislation for Peace and Security” in order to proceed with its concrete practice. President El-Sisi expressed his appreciation for all efforts leading to peace.

28. Both leaders exchanged views on the wider security environment in East-Asia and confirmed the importance of respect for international law, maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

29. On the situation regarding the Korean Peninsula, both leaders, as members of UN Security Council, recalled the strong condemnation of the Council of the nuclear test and the launch using ballistic missile technology which were conducted by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea this year, which were clear violations of the related UN Security Council resolutions, and therefore a threat to international peace and security.
Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of continuous cooperation in the UN Security Council regarding the adoption of a possible new resolution, and expressed their commitment to continue working toward a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation leading to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Both sides reiterated that the agreement reached at the Six Party Talks should be implemented.
Both leaders stressed the importance of resolving the abductions issue as soon as possible, and Egypt expressed its willingness to provide continued cooperation to Japan on this issue.

30. Both leaders agreed that terrorism and ideologically induced violence threaten regional and international peace, and gravely undermine economic and social development. Both sides acknowledged the serious scourge of terrorism and underlined its growing threat to stability worldwide. They categorically condemned the recent terrorist attacks which killed and injured many innocent people all over the world, and emphasized the importance of working on counter-terrorism with international unified cooperation. Both leaders confirmed their intention to cooperate in efforts to address root causes of terrorism. Prime Minister Abe commended President El-Sisi’s and Al-Azhar institution’s efforts and their calls for tolerance and mutual understanding among different religions. Both leaders reaffirmed that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, or civilization.

31. Prime Minister Abe valued again Egypt’s efforts for combating terrorism in the fore front. President El-Sisi welcomed Prime Minister Abe’s announcement on strengthening cooperation related to counter-terrorism, including providing dual-use equipment for counter-terrorism (on the basis of UNSC resolutions, in particular Res.2174 and 2178). Prime Minister Abe announced his intention to extend a contribution amounting to US $1,540,000 through United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for strengthening legal system for counter-terrorism in Egypt and enhancing capability of criminal justice in the Middle East and North Africa.

32. Prime Minister Abe announced his intention to extend contribution amounting to US $1.66 million to Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) deployed in the Sinai Peninsula and to continue support for the efforts of MFO. President El-Sisi expressed his appreciation to the support.

33. Both sides called for the realization of a negotiated, just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, and the establishment of a sovereign, viable and contiguous Palestinian state living in peace and security with all its neighbors in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative. Both sides called on Israel to refrain from any unilateral actions including continued settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its Holly Sites and moves to change the status quo, and urged both sides to continue their negotiations to reach a “two-state solution”. President El-Sisi highlighted that the Palestine state should be based on the territories occupied since 4 June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. Prime Minister Abe highly commended Egypt’s important role in the Middle East Peace Process.

34. Both leaders welcomed the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and commended efforts of the concerning countries and the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura. Both leaders expressed their expectation to start negotiation on a political transition process between the government of Syria and the opposition, steadily implement a sequence of the process including cease-fire throughout Syria in accordance with the resolution 2254, and lead to improvement in Syrian situation. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to encourage a political solution to the Syrian crisis on the basis of the Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012, that would put an end to the bloodshed; preserve the independence and territorial integrity of Syria; and fulfill the aspirations of the Syrian people to a democratic state, and stressed the importance of improving the humanitarian situation. Prime Minister Abe announced Japan’s contribution amounting to US$350 million for a wide range of fields in order to achieve stability in Syria and Iraq, including food and water to improve humanitarian situation, vocational training, and border administration for counter-terrorism. President El-Sisi highly appreciated Japan’s efforts.

35. Both leaders welcomed the adoption by UNSC of resolution 2259 and urged the Libyan parties to form a government of national unity that would be able to pursue the interests of the Libyan people and to combat terrorism as one of its priorities in the coming months.

36. Both leaders were concerned about continuous unstable and grave humanitarian situation in Yemen, and they concurred with supporting efforts of the UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, for stability in Yemen, and having expectation for proceeding peace talks.

37. Both leaders affirmed their intention to continue cooperation through the TICAD process, including the next TICAD summit meeting which will be held in Kenya this year. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to work together with Egypt on strengthening further tripartite cooperation with Egypt, which has started in 1985 through which training course were provided to achieve sustainable economic and social development, in Africa. Prime Minister Abe announced his intention to extend a new assistance amounting to US $1,000,000 to the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA), which has been playing an important role in maintaining peace and stability in Africa.

38. Both leaders recognized the importance of Women’s role in achieving stability and development in Middle East and North Africa, and underlined support for promotion of Women’s role. In this context, both leaders confirmed their cooperation on support for enhancing capability of police including women in Africa.

39. Both leaders valued the current non-permanent membership of both countries in the Security Council of the UN and resolved to cooperate closely in the fields of PKO and peace building, and to address challenges faced by the international community in the field of international peace and security. In this context, both leaders affirmed to hold regular talks between the UN policy authorities of the two countries. Both leaders confirmed their intention to work together for UN reforms, particularly the reform of the Security Council. Furthermore, both sides concurred with strengthening efforts towards achieving Security Council reform, in order to make it more representative, effective, and democratic; thus further strengthening the credibility of the United Nations.

40. Both leaders determined to cooperate for realization of a peaceful and secure world free of nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Abe expressed the importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and President El-Sisi took note. They underlined the crucial importance of urgently achieving the universality of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Both leaders reaffirmed the importance of the three pillars of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons including in particular the need to effectively address regional issues and pursue the full implementation of the final outcome of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference, including in particular the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East, on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons, and all other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, as well as the final document of 2000 and the Plan of Action adopted at 2010 NPT Review Conference. In this context, both leaders expressed their regret over the failure to adopt the final document of the 2015 NPT review conference which was an opportunity to make progress in the three pillars of the Treaty and regional issues, in particular the 1995 resolution on the Middle East, and they confirmed their cooperation for success in the 2020 NPT review conference. Both leaders express their intention to continue cooperation on working together on efforts for promoting the universality as well as the principles and goals of the NPT and its full implementation with a view to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, and they confirmed their commitment to strengthen talks between disarmament and non-proliferation authorities. Both leaders affirmed the importance of the central role of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy, including the monitoring and verification of steady implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the EU3+3 and Iran, and they concurred with continuous cooperation for efforts of IAEA to play its necessary role under the leadership of the incumbent Director General, Yukiya Amano.

41. Both leaders welcomed the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the UN General Assembly and the Paris Agreement at the 21th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). Both leaders recognized the importance of cooperation in the area of eradicating poverty, achieving sustainable development, and addressing the pressing global issues including climate change though implementation of the Paris Agreement, and they reaffirmed to further cooperate in tackling these challenges, including strengthening their bilateral cooperation in the field of renewable energy technology and manufacturing.

42. Both leaders recalled Sustainable Development Goal 6, titled “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, and affirmed the commitment regarding the human right to safe drinking water. Both leaders reiterated the importance of International Law as relates to transboundary water resources.

43. Both sides shared the recognition of the importance of promoting the law of the sea.

(Conclusion)

44. President El-Sisi and Prime Minister Abe expressed their expectation that this visit will lead to the leap towards a new stage in bilateral relations and the cooperation in all fields between the two countries will be strengthened with a further sense of speed. Both leaders confirmed their intention to fulfill increasing exchanges at various levels, including the leaders and ministers.