Japan-New Zealand Joint Press Statement

May 14, 2008

1. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan and Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand met in Tokyo on 14 May 2008 and discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest.

2. Noting that Japan and New Zealand are natural partners in the Asia-Pacific region, with shared democratic values, the two leaders welcomed the progress made under the Joint Press Statement in 2005 and renewed their commitment to strengthen the Japan-New Zealand relationship.

3. Recognising that the bilateral relationship is underpinned by long-standing trade and investment ties, common interests in peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and people-to-people links, the two leaders expressed their determination to further the bilateral relationship to meet common challenges.

I. Bilateral Relations

Economic Relationship

4. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to move the trade and economic relationship forward, recognising the ongoing importance of a forward-looking and comprehensive approach that generates momentum across all areas of the relationship. They recognised the central role of the Joint Economic Consultations (JEC) in managing and strengthening the relationship.

5. Noting the development of the bilateral economic relationship over fifty years and the efforts to strengthen that relationship, the two leaders directed the JEC to present possible options for cooperative architecture for the future economic relationship within the latter half of 2008.

6. The two leaders welcomed positive developments accruing from the Working Group on Strengthening the Economic Relationship (WG). The two leaders directed the WG to submit its final report to the next meeting of the JEC to be held in the latter half of 2008.

7. The two leaders were pleased with the International Business Forum's initiatives to hold the inaugural Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum in Tokyo on 15 May 2008 and shared the view that this business-led initiative involving senior figures from both countries helps generate awareness of the value of the bilateral relationship and momentum for further progress.

8. The New Zealand side welcomed Japan's "Invitation Program for Future Business Counterparts from New Zealand" as an ongoing contribution to building stronger business links between the two countries.

9. The two leaders also welcomed the signing of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programs between Japan Customs and NZ Customs Service, which aims to enhance supply chain security while facilitating trade flow of goods between the two countries.

Security and Defence Cooperation

10. Recognising the shared interest and commitment to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and New Zealand would enhance bilateral dialogue on security and defence issues, including through the Joint Political Consultations and the Military-to-Military Consultations. The two leaders confirmed that the two countries would also explore possible areas of practical cooperation on non-traditional security issues.

11. Reaffirming their commitment to international efforts to combat terrorism, the two leaders affirmed that Japan and New Zealand would co-operate with each other including through Japan's supply assistance to New Zealand's frigates which engage in counter-terrorism maritime interdiction activities. They also noted the importance of promoting cooperation on counter-terrorism issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

12. The two leaders renewed their resolution to promote international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. The two leaders confirmed the importance of strengthening the relevant international frameworks, including to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials. Recognising the need to reinforce the integrity and authority of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the two leaders reaffirmed that they would make efforts individually as well as collectively to ensure the success of the 2010 NPT Review Conference.

13. The Japanese side welcomed New Zealand's forthcoming contribution to the project for dismantling Russian decommissioned nuclear submarines under the G8 Global Partnership.

14. The two leaders stressed the importance of gaining comprehensive support for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

15. The Japanese side welcomed New Zealand's hosting of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) exercise "Maru" and the invitation for Japan to participate. The New Zealand side welcomed Japan's willingness to contribute assets and personnel to the exercise.


16. The two leaders confirmed that Japan and New Zealand would co-operate bilaterally and in multilateral fora in addressing global environment issues as well as achieving environmental sustainability.

17. In this context, the two leaders welcomed the success of the Japan-New Zealand Environment Workshop and confirmed commitment to examine ways to build closer environmental co-operation in the area of climate change, including energy efficiency, and forestry and agriculture.

Energy Security

18. The two leaders welcomed the conclusion of the Agreement on Petroleum Stocks Contracts, reflecting their mutual commitment to improving global oil security.

19. The two leaders shared the view that the APEC Energy Peer Review Mechanism that aims to monitor the progress toward attaining energy efficiency goals would contribute to enhancing energy security efforts and to achieving environmental objectives in the Asia-Pacific region.

Food Supply

20. The two leaders reconfirmed the importance of stability of food supply, recognizing that Japan is a net importer and New Zealand an important supplier of food. They noted with strong concerns the trend of high prices of food, particularly in light of its acute impact on developing countries' efforts to overcome poverty and to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They also highlighted the potential contribution of the current WTO Doha round negotiations to create more favourable conditions for countries to meet their need to stabilise food imports.

Science and Technology Cooperation

21. The two leaders decided to convene working-level discussions on ways to strengthen bilateral science and technology co-operation, including the possibility of concluding a science and technology co-operation agreement.

Human Exchange

22. The two leaders recognised the importance of continuing to promote human exchange to build closer bilateral relations, including through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme and Japanese language education in New Zealand. Moreover, the two leaders underlined the need for furthering exchanges between political leaders.

23. The two leaders shared the view that bilateral visits by leaders, ministers and officials contribute to the development of the bilateral relationship and expressed their commitment to increase such contacts. Prime Minister Fukuda also appreciated the invitation extended by the Prime Minister of New Zealand to visit New Zealand.

II. Regional Issues

24. Recognising that the denuclearisation of North Korea is indispensable to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, the two leaders urged North Korea to abide by the 3 October 2007 agreement on the second-phase actions for the implementation of the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005, including the provision on a "complete and correct declaration."

25. The two leaders expressed their deep concerns for the human rights situation in North Korea, including the abduction issue, and urged North Korea to take actions to resolve this issue.

26. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to support Pacific Island countries to promote peace and prosperity in the Pacific region. They underlined the importance of enhancing dialogue and co-operation on a bilateral basis, as well as with other major players in the region such as Australia and the United States. The two leaders affirmed that they would also closely co-operate in the lead-up to the Fifth Japan-PIF Summit Meeting (PALM 5).

27. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to co-operation in promoting peace and security in Asia, including in Timor-Leste and Afghanistan.

28. The New Zealand side appreciated once again Japan's support for New Zealand membership in the East Asia Summit (EAS). In order to realise long-term stability and prosperity in East Asia, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the development of the EAS by promoting specific co-operation in such areas as energy security, the environment, climate change, inter-civilisation dialogue and youth exchange, based upon the principle of openness and universally shared values. They also welcomed co-operation aimed at developing regional economic integration, including the Track Two study on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and confirmed their commitment to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in support of this initiative.

29. In view of the good record of co-operation in APEC, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and New Zealand would continue to work closely together on regional issues, including regional economic integration, trade and investment liberalisation and the structural reform agenda in the lead-up to APEC 2010 to be hosted by Japan.

30. The two leaders expressed their intention to strengthen the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and emphasised the preeminent role of the ARF in generating effective regional security co-operation.

III. Global Issues

The United Nations Reform

31. The two leaders confirmed their determination to work actively towards an early realisation of the United Nations Security Council reform, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership of the Council to reflect better the realities of the 21st century. The Japanese side expressed appreciation for New Zealand's support for Japan's membership in an expanded Security Council and for Japan's candidacy for a non-permanent seat for the 2009-2010 term of the Security Council.

Climate Change

32. The two leaders reiterated their determination to work closely together on climate change issues and their common resolve to conclude international climate change negotiations under the Bali Road Map including the Bali Action Plan on future action by the end of 2009 and stressed the need to establish an effective international framework in which all major emitters meaningfully participate. The two leaders emphasised that emerging economies should make appropriate contributions according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.

33. The New Zealand side welcomed the contribution of Japan's "Cool Earth 50" and "Cool Earth Promotion Programme" to the global efforts to address climate change and acknowledged the useful role that could be played by sectoral approaches in comprehensive post-2012 international climate change arrangements. The two leaders confirmed that Japan and New Zealand would work closely to explore the cooperative sectoral approach to improve energy efficiency. The two leaders recognised the need for innovative energy technology research and development as a means to tackle climate change. Moreover, the New Zealand side stressed the importance of Japan's leadership as the G8 Chair of this year in advancing the climate change agenda. The Japanese side appreciated the leading role New Zealand is playing in convening the international Livestock Emissions Abatement Research Network (LEARN) to promote emissions reductions in the agricultural sector.


34. The two leaders affirmed that Japan and New Zealand would seek an early and positive conclusion to the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations within this year and stressed the importance of achieving an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive outcome.

Intellectual Property Rights

35. Recognising the need to coordinate globally in combating counterfeiting and piracy, the two leaders confirmed that Japan and New Zealand would continue to co-operate to accelerate the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations with a view to achieving its early conclusion.

36. The two leaders stressed that effective protection of intellectual property rights is essential for innovation-led growth of the world economy. They affirmed that Japan and New Zealand would co-operate to improve patent acquisition and protection, including through mutual utilisation of patent examination results and efforts to realise the Substantive Patent Law Treaty.


37. Recognising the value of conducting high-level dialogue, the two leaders shared the view that opportunities should continue to be sought for high-level engagement from time-to-time to review achievements in areas for bilateral co-operation and to identify further initiatives for strengthening the bilateral relationship.

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