The Fourth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 4)

1. Date and Participants

The fourth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 4) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark from September 22 to 24, 2002, with the participation of leaders from 10 countries in Asia (Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, and seven members of the ASEAN), the 15 members of the European Union, and the European Commission.

2. Chairman's Statement

Free discussions took place among the participating leaders from Asia and Europe on the three pillars: politics; economics and finance; and society, education, culture and other issues. A special session (retreat) was also held on cultures and civilizations. A chairman's statement was issued which briefly summarized the discussions. (Two political declarations were announced to the statement. )

3. ASEM Copenhagen Political Declaration for Peace on the Korean Peninsula

Following an explanation by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of his visit to North Korea on September 17, there were especially lively discussions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Participants reaffirmed the importance of engaging North Korea in the international community. As a result of these discussions, the Leaders issued the ASEM Copenhagen Political Declaration for Peace on the Korean Peninsula, which appreciated the top level dialogue between Japan and North Korea.

4. ASEM Copenhagen Declaration on Cooperation Against International Terrorism

The ASEM Copenhagen Declaration on Cooperation Against International Terrorism, which the Leaders issued, states that acts of international terrorism constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and a challenge to all states and to all of humanity. It also states the Leaders' determination to strengthen cooperation between Asia and Europe, which directed against terrorism.

5. Taskforce for a Closer Economic Partnership

The Leaders agreed to set up an action-oriented Taskforce towards a closer ASEM economic partnership. The Taskforce should consist of five experts from each of the two regions who will study the three areas of trade, investment, and finance. An interim report will be prepared for submission to Foreign, Economic and Finance Ministers in 2003 with a view to submitting a final report to ASEM 5 in 2004.

6. Japan's Proposals

Japan, with interested partners, proposed the following new initiatives toward the strengthening of cooperative relations between Asia and Europe with a global perspective. These initiatives were endorsed at the summit.

(1) ASEM Seminar on Anti-terrorism
This initiative was proposed by Japan jointly with China, Denmark, Germany, and Spain. The seminar will be held in China before the next year's fifth ASEM foreign ministers' meeting.

(2) ASEM Symposium on Multilateral and Regional Economic Relations
This initiative was proposed by Japan jointly with Germany and Singapore. A symposium will be held in Tokyo in March 2003.

(3) ASEM Seminar on Educational Exchange
This initiative was proposed by Japan jointly with Ireland and other partners. The date and venue of the seminar will be decided later.

7. Prime Minister Koizumi's Statements

The following is a summary of Prime Minister Koizumi's statements on current issues facing the international community. These statements helped shape the flow of discussions at the summit meeting and were reflected in the above mentioned political declarations and the chairman's statement.

(1) Situation on the Korean Peninsula:
With regard to the problems between Japan and North Korea, Chairman Kim Jong-Il of the DPRK National Defense Commission recognized the existence of the abduction issue and expressed his apology. At the moment, the Japanese people are full of indignation and anger. From the viewpoint that the improvement of relations between Japan and North Korea will contribute to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia, the Pyongyang Declaration referred to security problems including nuclear issues. Japan will make efforts toward the resumption of the Japan DPRK normalization talks in October. Japan will respond to the issues of Korean peninsula in cooperation with the Republic of Korea, the United States, China, Russia, and other countries concerned in the international community.

(2) Terrorist countermeasures:
The fight against terrorism will continue for a long time and it is necessary for the international community to unite and make tenacious efforts. Japan, in cooperation with the international community, hosted the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan in January of this year, and has been making efforts to support Afghanistan after the achievement of peace. Regarding Iraq, it is important that Iraq should accept inspections immediately, unconditionally, and without restrictions and that it should actually execute related Security Council resolutions. Japan will continue diplomatic efforts in various forms, including through the United Nations and ASEM.

(3) Economy and finance:
The success of the new round of WTO trade negotiations is important. Japan intends to promote regional economic partnership to complement the efforts in the WTO. Centered on East Asia, the strengthening of economic relations between Asia and Europe in deepened regional cooperation will be beneficial for the two regions and for the world economy. Japan intends to positively tackle the strengthening of economic relations with the whole of East Asia while learning from the EU's experience of economic integration. Japan would like to propose an initiative for Asia-Europe dialogue on multilateral and regional economic relations and intends to cooperate with other countries.

(4) Society, culture, education:
Japan has achieved the present level of development despite its lack of resources because of its emphasis on education. I myself played a part in launching of the BETS program, the predecessor of the JET program other site, by which Japan accepted English language teachers from Britain. Now this exchange program has expanded to cover various languages and various fields. Such human resources exchange and emphasis on education plays a role in creating jobs. Japan recognizes importance of the Asia-Europe Foundation.

(5) Cultures and civilizations (Free dialogue):
There is no superiority or inferiority among various cultures and civilizations. While respecting their diversities and originalities, Japan makes efforts to further exchange in various fields, including culture and sports. Since the end of Japan's isolation in the nineteenth century, Japan had set itself the targets of catching up with and overtaking the West and had studied many Western nursery tales. Now there is talk of the exchange of nursery tales among Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea.

8. Japan as a new ASEM Coordinator

Japan, in place of China, will serve as an Asian ASEM coordinator together with Vietnam after ASEM 4 until ASEM 5 in 2004. Japan's intention in this year's summit to be a bridge between Asia and Europe and its call for cooperation from other countries paved a way for Japan's even more active role as a new coordinator.

9. Bilateral Meetings

During his stay in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Koizumi also held bilateral talks with President of the Republic of Korea Kim Dae Jung, Premier of China Zhu Rongji, President of French Republic Jacques Chirac, and President of the European Commission Romano Prodi. Prime Minister Koizumi also had the opportunity to discuss bilateral matters and the international situation with other Asian and European leaders during meals and before and after the summit sessions.

Related Information (Japan-North Korea Relations)
Related Information (Counter Terrorism)

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