Joint Statement by the Foreign Minister of Japan and the Foreign Minister of Canada
I Bilateral Relations
H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the Honourable Mr. Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, met today to reinforce Japan and Canada’s strong bilateral relationship, built on shared values and a common vision for a more prosperous and peaceful world.
Minister Dion welcomed Japan’s G7 Presidency, and the two Ministers expressed their commitment to work together on regional and global challenges while holding regular dialogues to advance and enrich their dynamic relationship. They also reaffirmed their determination to work together for the success of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hiroshima and the G7 Ise-Shima Summit.
Minister Kishida and Minister Dion shared the view that, as trading nations, Japan and Canada should work together to take advantage of new opportunities presented by the evolution of the global economy, while ensuring new and innovative technologies contribute to economic and social growth for all. The two Ministers also pledged to strengthen economic dialogue between the two countries, develop new partnerships to increase innovation, and encourage business-to-business links. The two Ministers also took note of current trade in minerals, metals and forestry products and the potential for growth in these sectors.
Japan and Canada strongly support free trade as a strategic means to create jobs and promote sustainable economic development. The Ministers also recognized the signing of the TPP Agreement on February 4 in Auckland, an agreement that covers all aspects of trade and investment. Japan and Canada will move forward with their domestic discussions and consultations.
The two Ministers confirmed their intention to enhance cooperation in the key areas of (1) energy, (2) infrastructure (3) science and technology cooperation and (4) improvement of the business environment.
Minister Kishida expressed his interest in seeing the early realization of Canadian LNG exports to Japan, and called for Canada’s cooperation to this end, to which Minister Dion responded positively recognizing the importance of secure energy supplies. The two Ministers noted the importance of clean energy cooperation.
The two Ministers shared the view that people-to-people exchanges lay the foundation for a strong bilateral relationship, and confirmed their commitments to strengthening such exchanges at various levels.
The two Ministers underlined their common interests in regional and international peace, stability and prosperity, and the importance of continuing a long tradition of cooperation in multilateral and regional forums including the United Nations, G7, G20, and APEC.
II Regional Issues
The two Ministers strongly condemned the nuclear test conducted by North Korea on January 6 and its February 7 launch of a ballistic missile. They stressed that North Korea’s repeated provocations pose a grave threat to international peace and security and violate its international obligations, including relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. They urged North Korea to refrain from any further provocation and to comply with all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement. The two Ministers further urged North Korea to end its human rights violations immediately, and to address other concerns raised by the international community, including the abductions issue, as soon as possible.
The two Ministers reconfirmed their commitment to maintaining a rules-based order in the maritime domain based on the principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They underlined the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes as well as free and unimpeded use of the world’s oceans in accordance with international law. They also strongly oppose the use of intimidation, coercion or force, as well as any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo in the Asia Pacific region, as reiterated in the Leaders’ Declaration of G7 Elmau Summit.
III Global Cooperation
The two Ministers reaffirmed their resolve to continue cooperation in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, with a view to realizing a world free of nuclear weapons, including through joint efforts in the G7 and the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI).
The two Ministers also welcomed adoption of the Paris Agreement, a historic framework for global efforts against climate change, which is applicable to all countries. They noted that the G7 will be an opportunity to build global momentum to facilitate the early entry into force and implementation of the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, they confirmed to seek opportunities to collaborate on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They also shared views on the importance of exploring further cooperation in such areas as women’s empowerment, cyber, space and the Arctic, and of considering the possibility of strengthening cooperation in development.
The two Ministers committed to strengthening and expanding peace and security cooperation, including in areas such as peacekeeping operations, counter-terrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Minister Dion welcomed Japan playing a more proactive role in support of global peace, stability and prosperity based on the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” including Legislation for Peace and Security. They underscored that the finalization of the Canada-Japan Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement will be a key component for expanding bilateral peace and security relations.