Diplomatic Bluebook 2001

D. Japan's Main Bilateral Relations

1. Japan-United States Relations

a) Overview

Japan and the United States continued to be engaged in close dialogue in 2000, including meetings at the summit and foreign ministerial level, thereby deepening cooperative relations in a wide range of areas from bilateral political, security, and economic issues to efforts to deal with global issues.

At the summit level, Prime Minister Mori had a telephone conversation with President Clinton immediately after the prime minister's inauguration in April, and visited the U.S. in May. President Clinton visited Japan in June to attend the funeral of the late Prime Minister Obuchi, and in July, a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting was held at the margins of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, where discussion ranged broadly from bilateral relations to the international situation and global issues. Thus, Japanese and U.S. leaders had meetings in three consecutive months, which was unprecedented. President Clinton's participation in the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit also made him the first incumbent U.S. president to visit Okinawa since reversion of its administrative rights to Japan, and he made a speech at the Cornerstone of Peace in the Peace Memorial Park in which he expressed great respect and sympathy for the spirit and the pain of the people of Okinawa.

Subsequently, at the Japan-U.S. Summit held at the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting in November, leaders exchanged views on their North Korea policies in particular, agreeing on the importance of maintaining close consultations and coordination among Japan, the U.S., and the Republic of Korea (ROK). As this meeting marked the last Japan-U.S. Summit for President Clinton, Prime Minister Mori offered a warm message of deep respect for the president's activities and achievements over the eight years of his term.

Broad-ranging dialogue and policy coordination were also evident at the foreign ministers' level. Foreign Minister Kono visited the U.S. in mid-February and had a meeting with President Clinton, State Secretary Albright, and United States Trade Representative Barshevsky, agreeing that Japan and the U.S. would cooperate in a wide range of areas, including issues on the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit and an early launch of a new World Trade Organization (WTO) round. The two foreign ministers also met during State Secretary Albright's visit to Japan in July and at the margins of the UN General Assembly in September, exchanging views from a broad perspective on security and other international issues, such as Russia and the Korean Peninsula. The Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the 2+2 Meeting) was held back-to-back with the Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the occasion of the UN General Assembly, addressing strategies in the Asia-Pacific region and bilateral security issues. At the Japan-U.S.-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting in the ROK in October, the ministers affirmed that they would maintain close coordination in regard to their policies toward North Korea.

In the presidential election held in November, confusion over the ballot outcome in Florida delayed confirmation of the final election results nationwide. On December 14, when Texas Governor George W. Bush was elected as the new president of the United States, and again immediately after the president's inauguration, Prime Minister Mori spoke with President Bush on the telephone, with both sides agreeing to further strengthen Japan-U.S. relations.

(In January 2001, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, who was nominated and confirmed as the new Secretary of State, spoke with Foreign Minister Kono by telephone, agreeing to maintain and strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and to coordinate policy through close bilateral dialogue. The Bush administration was inaugurated in January, and later that month, Foreign Minister Kono visited the U.S. for talks with Secretary Powell, followed by Prime Minister Mori in March for a meeting with President Bush. The Foreign Ministers affirmed the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance and agreed to further strengthen it, as well as to engage in close dialogue and cooperation toward world peace and prosperity. At the first Japan-U.S. Summit since the Bush administration was launched, leaders conducted a frank exchange of views on the basic direction of bilateral relations, and agreed to strengthen the alliance and engage in close dialogue and cooperation in coping with issues facing the two countries. In regard to economic issues, they discussed the challenges facing their two economies, such as setting the U.S. economy back on a growth trajectory and structural and regulatory reform in Japan, including effectively addressing the issues of non-performing loans. They also agreed to enhance the Japan-U.S. dialogue to address economic and trade issues, and to work together for the launch of a new WTO round within the year. President Bush expressed deep regret over the collision with the Ehime Maru, and stated his willingness to do everything possible in regard to ascertaining the causes of the accident, raising the ship, and providing compensation. In terms of the Japan-U.S. security relationship, the two leaders reaffirmed the need to continue to carry out commitments under the 1996 Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security and related undertakings. In regard to issues related to Okinawa, they agreed to continuously proceed with the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) process. The meeting was also valuable in providing for an exchange of views on the international situation, including the Korean Peninsula.)

b) Japan-U.S. Economic Relations

The U.S. continues to run a substantial trade deficit with Japan (US$81.3 billion in 2000). The total U.S. trade deficit has soared in recent years, setting a record high for the second consecutive year in 2000 (US$434.7 billion). However, because of the buoyant economic conditions in the United States and the fact that the trade deficit with Japan is under 20 percent of this total (almost the same level as China, with which the U.S. had the greatest trade deficit in 2000), the size of the deficit with Japan in itself was not a major issue.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has been stressing the importance of deregulation and structural reform for the recovery of the Japanese economy and has been putting considerable energy into advancing the Japan-U.S. Deregulation Dialogue. In its third year, several issues still pending until the last stages of the dialogue, including reduction of NTT East and West interconnection rates in the telecommunications sector, were resolved in July,*15 and the Third Joint Status Report on the U.S.-Japan Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy, which included these issues, was released at the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting in Okinawa on July 22. At the Summit Meeting, the two leaders confirmed the continuation of the Dialogue for another year, and the fourth year of dialogue is currently underway.

At present, there are basically no specific issues of economic friction which are politicized between the two countries, but it has to be kept in mind that, if the U.S. economy slows down heavily in the future, protectionism might arise in the U.S., which could well cause problems. For example, the deadline set for the measures related to automobiles and auto parts which Japan and the U.S. adopted in 1995 was December 31, 2000; but the U.S. pushed for the extension and expansion of these measures on the grounds that Japanese market access for the products in question had not improved. Japan maintained the stance that the internationalization of the automobile and auto-parts industries had removed the need for measures such as those adopted in 1995, and the measures were eventually discontinued at the end of 2000. It remains to be seen what position the Bush administration will adopt on this matter.

Congress also needs to be monitored closely. For example, on October 28, U.S. federal legislation commonly known as the Byrd Amendment was passed, designed to distribute the Treasury revenues garnered from anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties to domestic companies which had brought or supported suits. On December 21, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Chile, the European Community, India, Indonesia, the ROK, and Thailand consequently submitted a joint request for bilateral consultations to the U.S. under WTO dispute settlement procedures, claiming that the new U.S. legislation may be inconsistent with the Anti-Dumping Agreement and other WTO rules.

c) Expanding Japan-U.S. Cooperation

Under the framework of the Japan-U.S. Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective, launched in 1993, Japan and the U.S. have advanced more than 90 projects in 18 areas under its four pillars: promoting health and human development, responding to challenges to global stability, protecting the global environment, and advancing science and technology.

The Tenth Plenary Meeting was held in Tokyo in February, identifying progress in the following six areas of (1) HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, (2) population and health, (3) counter-narcotics projects, (4) child and maternal health, (5) ocean drilling, and (6) ocean observation, and agreeing to promote cooperation in these priority areas. It was also agreed that addressing the issues of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases was the immediate priority. Participants noted that partnerships with the private sector such as private companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had been promoted in recent years, and agreed to continue enhancing these partnerships.

The day before the Tenth Plenary Meeting, the second Japan-U.S. Common Agenda Seminar was held under the theme of population and health and emergency relief, and views and proposals on further activities were vigorously discussed by government officials from both countries, as well as representatives from NGOs, international organizations, and recipient countries.

The Common Agenda Round Table (CART), chaired by Gaishi Hiraiwa, Honorary Chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), and inaugurated in February 1996, has convened regular meetings, discussing various global issues and giving advice and recommendations to the two governments. CART is also actively developing partnerships with Japanese and foreign NGOs through, for example, an environmental education project in Indonesia.

d) Future Outlook and Challenges

The abovementioned Japan-U.S. Summit and foreign ministerial meeting in January and March 2001 reaffirmed between the Japanese government and the new Bush administration the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance, and set out a basic direction for bilateral relations in the 21st century-namely, to further strengthen relations through close dialogue in a wide range of areas. In line with this direction, Japan and the U.S. need to deepen their consultation and cooperation in the coming years on both bilateral issues and issues confronting the international community.

2. Japan-ROK Relations

a) Overview

The cooperative relationship between Japan and the ROK is vital to the peace and prosperity of East Asia, and particularly essential in advancing policy on North Korea. Through the visit to Japan by ROK President Kim Dae Jung in 1998, as well as the ROK visit by Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi in 1999, the two nations put the issues of the past behind them and have been working to build "a relationship between countries with a close geographical and diplomatic relationship." As in 1999, 2000 saw the development of wide-ranging exchange based on the Japan-Republic of Korea Joint Declaration: A New Japan-Republic of Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century, signed in 1998, and its annexed action plan, with bilateral cooperation further reinforced toward the development of future-oriented relations. In addition, the opening of the ROK to Japanese culture which has been proceeding under President Kim Dae Jung moved even further ahead, with the great popularity of film screenings and performances of popular songs in both countries marking the start of a new era in Japan-ROK cultural exchange.

Political dialogue has also continued steadily, fueled by a vigorous program of bilateral visits by leaders and ministers, among them the May visit of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to the ROK and the September visit of President Kim Dae Jung to Japan. In Summit talks, leaders affirmed the steady implementation of the Joint Declaration and the action plan, and also engaged in a lively interchange on cultural and personnel exchange and economic cooperation. They also mutually reaffirmed the importance of Japan-U.S.-ROK coordination in terms of North Korea policy.

The year 2002 will be the year in which Japan and the ROK co-host the FIFA World Cup, and has also been designated the Year of Japan-ROK National Exchange. It will be essential to ensure the success of these events and establish very solid Japan-ROK relations. Looking ahead to 2002, the two nations must endeavor to deepen wide-ranging exchange at all levels of society and build even more solid foundations of trust into the new century.

One of the issues that remains between Japan and the ROK is that of territorial rights over Takeshima Island. Japan has consistently held the position that, in light of the historical facts, as well as the rules and principles of international law, Takeshima is an integral part of Japan. A course of continued and dedicated dialogue will be taken with the ROK on this issue.

b) Japan-ROK Economic Relations

Japan and Korea have had various talks toward the promotion of bilateral trade and investment, based on the Japan-Republic of Korea Economic Agenda 21 which was announced by both leaders during Prime Minister Obuchi's visit to the ROK in March 1999. Negotiations on an investment treaty began in September 1999 and intensive efforts were made with a view to reaching agreement before the end of 2000. However, there are some issues to be resolved by both sides, and the conclusion of the negotiations needs to wait. In terms of standards and certification, experts' meetings have been launched in areas of interest to both countries, such as electrical products. As regards free trade agreement (FTA), Japan and the ROK have held public symposia based on joint research by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Institute of Developing Economies, and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP). At the September Summit in Atami, leaders of both countries agreed to establish a business forum comprising private-sector representatives from both countries. After consultations between aviation authorities on how to meet the growing flight demand following the development and expansion of Japan-ROK relations, the number of transit routes through Kansai International Airport was expanded, and midnight and early-morning flights leaving from Haneda Airport were added as interim measures (the latter beginning February 2001).

3. Japan-China Relations

a) Overview

Japan-China relations are one of Japan's most important bilateral relationships, and the further development of the relationship is essential for the peace and prosperity of not only the Asia-Pacific, but also of the world. China has experienced substantial economic growth in recent years as a result of its reform and open policy, and is swiftly expanding its influence in the international community. In order to encourage China to become a more constructive partner in the international community in the 21st century, Japan for its part will continue to engage in active diplomatic efforts, including expanded exchange and cooperation at all levels.

The basic framework for Japan-China relations in the 21st century was established by the Japan-China Joint Declaration on Building a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development, issued in 1998 during President Jiang Zemin's visit to Japan. This Declaration stresses that Japan and China should cooperate not only for their own benefit, but to contribute to the international community. Since then, Japan-China cooperative relations have made progress in various areas. For example, an afforestation fund (the Obuchi Fund) has been launched, as well as Chinese group tours, intellectual exchange among think-tanks, and the security-related officials' meeting between Japan and China; a new fishing agreement has come into effect; and Japan has also completed without incident the first large-scale excavation and recovery of chemical weapons abandoned by the Japanese Army. In May 2000, President Jiang Zemin announced an "important discourse" in Japan-China relations, emphasizing the importance of friendly bilateral ties in the 21st century.

A string of visits also occurred among key figures from both countries. From China, Zeng Qinghong, Head of the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, visited Japan in April, followed by Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan in May. In June, Vice Premier Qian Qichen visited Japan to attend the funeral of the late Prime Minister Obuchi, and in October, an official visit to Japan was also made by Premier Zhu Rongji. From Japan, Foreign Minister Kono visited China in August. Advantage was also taken of multilateral diplomatic events, with Prime Minister Mori meeting with President Jiang Zemin at the UN Millennium Summit in September, while Foreign Minister Kono met with Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan. The foreign ministers then met again at ASEM 3 in October. At the ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, the ROK) Summit in November, a meeting took place as in 1999 among the leaders of Japan, China, and the ROK (Prime Minister Mori, Premier Zhu Rongji, and ROK President Kim Dae Jung), with leaders agreeing to make the meeting a regular event.

In particular, during the October visit of Premier Zhu Rongji to Japan, Japan and China affirmed the importance of building confidence and promoting mutual understanding between leaders in order to lock in the Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development, and agreed to lodge cooperative relations still more firmly in the years to come. Specific results are an agreement on expanded and strengthened security dialogue and defense exchange, in which both sides agreed on mutual visits by naval vessels, and an agreement on promoting wide-ranging mutual understanding and on implementing a Japan Year and a China Year in the year of 2002, which is the 30th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China diplomatic relations. A hotline between leaders was also opened. In addition, during his visit, Premier Zhu Rongji became the first Chinese leader to appear on television in a dialogue with ordinary Japanese citizens, an exercise intended to promote mutual understanding.

While steady progress was therefore made in developing Japan-China friendly cooperative relations, there were also a number of issues to be resolved. From spring through summer, Chinese marine research vessels undertook frequent research activities within Japan's exclusive economic zone without prior consent from Japan. Public indignation was spurred when Chinese naval vessels began engaging in what appeared to be information-gathering activities in the waters surrounding Japan in May and July. Foreign Minister Kono subsequently took the opportunity of talks with his Chinese counterpart during his August visit to China to clearly convey Japan's position on the subject. As a result, the foreign ministers agreed to create a framework for mutual prior notification on marine research (set in place in February 2001). Chinese naval vessels have not engaged in activities in the waters near Japan since July 2000.

In terms of economic cooperation extended to China, Japan has been providing official development assistance (ODA) since 1979 in the recognition that stability and prosperity in China brought about by reform and open policy will contribute to the peace and prosperity of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. However, because of China's recent economic growth and Japan's stringent economic and fiscal situation, there has been growing pressure to review Japan's economic cooperation to China. The inadequacy of public relations in China concerning Japan's economic cooperation has also been noted. Given the enormous changes which have taken place in both countries' economic and social circumstances in the more than 20 years since Japan began providing ODA to China, the government of Japan believes that aid should be concentrated into priority areas and on priority issues in terms of encouraging China to become a more responsible member of the international community. The Advisory Group on Japan's Economic Cooperation to China in the 21st Century (chaired by former Minister of State for Economic Planning Isamu Miyazaki and comprising eminent Japanese figures) was accordingly established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July to absorb a wide range of public views concerning future Chinese ODA. The Advisory Group presented its recommendations in December, and these will now be drawn upon by the government in drawing up a Country Assistance Program which will outline Japan's basic course in terms of ODA to China. The government of China held a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of Japan-China economic cooperation in Beijing in October, expressing appreciation for Japan's ODA. Premier Zhu Rongji also offered high praise for Japan's aid to China during his visit to Japan, and announced that public relations in regard to Japanese aid would be strengthened.

b) Japan-China Economic Relations

Japan-China economic relations are basically favorable. Total trade declined temporarily due to the impact of the 1998 Asian economic crisis, but came back to record around 7.5 trillion yen in 1999 and then 9.2 trillion yen in 2000, unprecedented highs. Japan has become China's largest trading partner, while China is Japan's second largest trading partner. Trade interdependence is deepening. The balance of trade has shown an excess of imports for Japan since 1988.

Direct investment in China peaked at 432 billion yen for 770 investments in FY 1995, and has since declined to 83.8 billion for 76 investments in FY 1999. Main causes for the decline have been the Asian economic crisis and an economic slump in Japan, although issues such as non-bank debt repayments in the provinces of Guangdong and Hainan, ineffectual crackdowns on counterfeit goods, and other undeveloped aspects of the Chinese investment environment have also played a part. Japan has been using Summits and other occasions to press China to resolve these issues.

Japan has supported the realization of early accession to the WTO by China believing that this will serve to strengthen the multilateral trading system, further promote China's reform and open policy, and enable China to become a more constructive member of the international community. In 1999, during Prime Minister Obuchi's visit to China, Japan reached a substantive agreement with China on bilateral negotiations, the first among advanced nations, thereby lending momentum to the advancement of China's accession negotiations with other countries and groups. As of February 2001, China had only to complete negotiations with Mexico and a certain portion of its multilateral negotiations in Geneva.

c) Relations with Taiwan

Article 2 of the Joint Communiqué of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China states that "the Government of Japan recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China." Article 3 states that the Government of Japan "fully understands and respects this stand of the Government of the People's Republic of China," that is, "Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People's Republic of China." Based on this 1972 Joint Communiqué, Japan has maintained its relations with Taiwan as exchanges of a private and regional nature, or, in other words, working relations on a non-governmental basis.

The total Japan-Taiwan trade volume for 2000 was around 5.8 trillion yen, a jump of approximately 16.3 percent on the previous year. In December, a contract was also concluded between Japanese and Taiwanese private-sector corporate groups on the introduction of Japan's bullet train system for the high-speed railway connecting Taipei and Gaoxiong.

Regarding relations between the parties on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Japan strongly hopes that issues surrounding Taiwan are resolved peacefully through direct dialogue between the parties concerned, and that, from the same perspective, cross-Strait dialogue will be resumed at an early point. Japan has repeatedly issued statements to this effect.

4. Japan-Russia Relations

a) Overview

With regard to relations with Russia, Japan's basic policy is to make every possible effort to resolve the issue of the attribution of the Northern Territories, thereby concluding a peace treaty and fully normalizing relations between Japan and Russia. Japan also supports Russia's reform efforts and is working to strengthen cooperation and relations in various fields. Building truly stable bilateral relations will benefit not only Japan and Russia, but will also contribute to the peace and stability of the entire Northeast Asian region.

In 2000, Japan and Russia continued to maintain frequent high-level dialogue and worked to strengthen bilateral relations based on the series of agreements and declarations between Japanese and Russian leaders to date, including the Krasnoyarsk Agreement reached between Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and President Boris Yeltsin at the Japan-Russia Summit in Krasnoyarsk in November 1997,*16 and the Moscow Declaration on Establishing a Creative Partnership between Japan and the Russian Federation, produced in November 1998 when Prime Minister Obuchi made the first official visit by a Japanese prime minister to Russia in 25 years. Consequently, Japan-Russia cooperative relations have seen steady progress across a wide range of areas, including politics, the economy, security, personal exchange, and cooperation on international issues.

In regard to peace treaty negotiations, despite continued negotiations, a peace treaty was not concluded by the end of 2000, the deadline established in the Krasnoyarsk Agreement. Both governments are currently reviewing the results of negotiations to date and continuing consultations toward developing "new measures" to further accelerate negotiations.

b) Continuing Close Political Dialogue

Close and high-level political dialogue was maintained by Japan and Russia throughout 2000. In April, following a visit to Russia by House of Representatives member Muneo Suzuki as a special envoy from Prime Minister Obuchi, Prime Minister Mori and President Vladimir Putin held summit talks in St. Petersburg. They agreed to simultaneously pursue the conclusion of a peace treaty, wide-ranging economic cooperation, and the promotion of Japan-Russia strategic and geopolitical relations, working to create the foundations on which to build a new bilateral relationship in the 21st century.

In September, President Putin made an official visit to Japan, discussing Japan-Russia relations with Prime Minister Mori in regard to a wide range of areas. As a result of this Summit, 16 documents were produced, including three documents signed by the leaders-the Statement by the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Russian Federation on the Issue of a Peace Treaty, the Joint Statement on Cooperation between Japan and the Russian Federation on International Affairs, and a new cooperation program on trade and economy.

In addition, Prime Minister Mori and President Putin held talks at the July G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit and the November APEC Leaders' Meeting in Brunei, making a total of four Summits in 2000.

At the foreign ministers' level too, Foreign Minister Kono and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov visited each other's countries and also took advantage of international conferences to meet a total of six times in 2000, sustaining close consultations on bilateral issues and the international situation.

c) Peace Treaty Negotiations

At the September Japan-Russia Summit, an in-depth exchange of views was conducted on the peace treaty issue. Leaders agreed on the following points, and signed the Statement by the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Russian Federation on the Issue of a Peace Treaty, which centered on the following:

(1) To continue efforts to realize the Krasnoyarsk Agreement;

(2) To continue negotiations toward a peace treaty by resolving the issue of the attribution of the Northern Territories, based on the various agreements to date; and

(3) To take the following measures to boost the efficiency of peace treaty negotiations:

  • Develop new measures to accelerate the negotiations,
  • Revise the Joint Compendium of Documents on the History of Territorial Issues between Japan and Russia, and
  • Activate efforts to explain to the public the importance of concluding a peace treaty.

Based on these Summit results, both countries engaged in intensive efforts through to the end of the year. At the Japan-Russia Summit in Brunei in November, it was agreed that negotiations would be continued at foreign minister and expert level, and if concrete progress were achieved, Prime Minister Mori would visit Irkutsk. In December, House of Representatives member Muneo Suzuki visited Russia with a letter from Prime Minister Mori, and engaged in discussion toward the early realization of the leaders' plans.

(In January 2001, Foreign Minister Kono visited Russia, where he signed a Memorandum on a New Edition of the Joint Compendium of Documents on the History of Territorial Issues and Enlightenment of the Public as to the Importance of the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty. Discussion was further deepened between foreign ministers on the development of new measures as directed by leaders in September. In March 2001, Prime Minister Mori visited Irkutsk for a Japan-Russia Summit, where the leaders adopted the Irkutsk Statement, which sums up the results of both countries' best efforts to conclude a peace treaty based on the Krasnoyarsk Agreement.)

d) Economic Relations

On the economic front, when President Putin made an official visit to Japan in September, a new cooperation program was adopted in the trade and economic fields to develop the Hashimoto-Yeltsin Plan a step further. The program outlined the basic direction for future cooperation in eight key areas, among them establishment of a good investment climate and reform assistance. In addition, when Foreign Minister Kono visited Russia in November, he jointly chaired the fourth meeting of the Japan-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs together with Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko.

To support the reform efforts of the Russian government, Japan will continue to provide technical cooperation (dispatching Japanese experts and accepting Russian trainees, for example), as well as untied loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and other assistance.

e) Exchange and Cooperation in Other Areas

The Joint Statement on Cooperation between Japan and the Russian Federation on International Affairs, signed during President Putin's September visit to Japan, describes bilateral cooperation to date on global and regional issues and explores future possibilities.

In the area of security dialogue and defense exchange, the Russian Defense Minister visited Japan, while Maritime Self-Defense Force ships visited Kamchatka.

In terms of bilateral youth exchanges, a total of around 1,000 Japanese and Russian young people have taken part in exchanges since the program was launched in July 1999 up until the end of 2000.

5. Japan-Europe Relations

As major advanced democracies sharing values and institutions, it is incumbent upon Japan and Europe to cooperate with each other in realizing stability and prosperity for the international community. From this perspective, Japan took the following steps to strengthen relations with the European Union (EU) and the Western European nations, with both sides providing cross-support on their respective regional issues (for example, Japan's assistance for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under the new Kostunica administration, and the EU's decision to continue contributing to KEDO), and also cooperating globally within frameworks such as the G8.

a) Japan-EU Relations

In 2000, new steps were taken toward further strengthening Japan-EU relations. Firstly, in January, Foreign Minister Kono visited Italy, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and France. He noted in his policy speech on relations between Japan and Europe, which he delivered in France, that Japan intended to bolster dialogue and cooperation in the political sphere, an area which had not been as active as the economic sphere. Subsequently, at the Ninth Japan-EU Summit in Tokyo in July, Prime Minister Mori, European Council President Jacques Chirac (French President), and European Commission President Romano Prodi declared that the decade beginning in 2001 would be designated the Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation as a means of further developing Japan-Europe relations in a manner open to the rest of the world. To reify this plan, it was agreed that a new political document and an attached action plan on Japan-EU cooperation based on the 1991 Declaration would be issued at the next Japan-EU Summit due to be held in 2001. Japan and the EU in fact are engaged in extremely close political dialogue, including mutual visits by key figures, consultations on various occasions, and frequent telephone discussions between Foreign Minister Kono and EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) High Representative Javier Solana. In parallel with these developments, efforts have also been made to create international agreements with regard to cooperation on competition policy and mutual recognition.

b) Bilateral Relations Between Japan and Western European Nations

As noted above, intensive exercises are being undertaken to selectively strengthen Japan-EU cooperation as part of promoting the Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation. At the same time, it hardly needs to be noted that the further development of cooperative bilateral relations with the individual Western European nations also remains critical.

In this context, following Foreign Minister Kono's visit to Europe in January, Prime Minister Mori visited the G8 countries from late April through early May to engage in exchanges of views with G8 leaders and build personal relationships of trust with them, while also calling again for their cooperation in ensuring the success of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit.

In late May, Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress made official visits to the Netherlands and Sweden, also stopping off in Switzerland and Finland. Their Majesties were warmly welcomed by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustav of the Kingdom of Sweden, as well as by the Presidents of Switzerland and Finland, and engaged in wide-ranging exchange with the peoples of these nations.

At the July G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit as well as various other international conferences, bilateral talks took place between Japanese and European leaders, foreign ministers, and finance ministers, including G8 members. On the occasion of the Summit, many European leaders also visited various places in Okinawa, deepening exchange with the people of Okinawa.

A string of cultural events again took place, including "Japan in Germany" and celebrations in both Japan and the Netherlands commemorating the 400th anniversary of Japan-Netherlands exchange. (In addition, in January 2001, on his way home from Africa, Prime Minister Mori visited Greece as the first incumbent Japanese Prime Minister to do so.)

Amidst the lively exchange between Japan and Europe, the following events were particularly noteworthy.

c) Japan-Netherlands Relations

As the 400th anniversary of Japan-Netherlands exchange, the year 2000 saw around 700 memorial events held in both countries, which, together with the success of the visit to the Netherlands by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, marked new progress toward even stronger bilateral ties in the 21st century.

In addition, at the summit between Prime Minister Obuchi and Prime Minister Kok held during the latter's February visit to Japan, the leaders, drawing on the 400th anniversary of Japan-Netherlands exchange, shared the view to move beyond the issue of Dutch war victims in the former Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and to further reinforce the construction of a future-oriented relationship between Japan and the Netherlands.

d) Japan-Germany Relations in the 21st Century

In October, Foreign Minister Fischer visited Japan for the Japan-Germany Regular Foreign Ministerial Consultations, exchanging with Foreign Minister Kono a political memorandum entitled Seven Pillars of Cooperation for Japan-Germany Relations in the 21st Century. This document presented seven key areas in strengthening global cooperative relations between Japan and Germany, and was designed to provide a new foundation for Japanese-German cooperation in place of the Action Agenda for the Japan-Germany Partnership, created by foreign ministers in 1996.

e) Japan-OSCE Conference on Comprehensive Security in Central Asia

In December, the first conference co-organized by Japan and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was held in Japan. OSCE member countries and related international organizations took part, engaging in a frank exchange of views from a variety of standpoints on comprehensive security in Central Asia, an issue of interest to both the OSCE and Japan.


  1. A basic framework was finally agreed upon whereby connectivity costs will be reduced by 22.5 percent over three years. Eighty to ninety percent of the total reductions will be implemented in the first two years, and the current charge calculation model will be revised in two years with the possibility of further reductions.
  2. At the Krasnoyarsk Summit, leaders agreed to "make utmost efforts to conclude a peace treaty by 2000 based on the Tokyo Declaration."

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