JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BETWEEN JAPAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

September 13, 2001, Tokyo

Prime Minister Koizumi and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo held a summit meeting today. President Arroyo is on a working visit to Japan from September 12 to September 15, upon the invitation of the Japanese Government.

It was the first summit meeting between the leaders of the two countries. They welcomed the excellent state of bilateral relations in recent years. They confirmed the two countries' resolve to continue the close relations between them, and to elevate their cooperation into a higher level of partnership in the future. Their strategic partnership will take into account bilateral as well as regional and global concerns.

The two leaders strongly condemned the act of terrorism in the United States. As allies of the United States, they expressed heartfelt condolence and sympathy to the people of the United States and confirmed their readiness to extend utmost assistance. They also reiterated their determination to continue their efforts for combating terrorism and decided to intensify cooperation with the US and others in the international community.

[Bilateral Cooperation]

The two leaders emphasized the importance of continued bilateral dialogue at various levels. They confirmed the importance of holding regular Japan-Philippines Sub-ministerial Meeting, and reaffirmed the need to schedule immediately the first Politico-Security Talks as yet, another forum to enhance dialogue between the two countries.

The Prime Minister commended the intensive efforts of the Philippine government in tackling poverty problems under the President's strong leadership, and expressed the Japanese government's intention to continue to support socio-economic development efforts in the Philippines including anti-poverty measures.

The President expressed support for the Prime Minister's efforts to restructure and reform the Japanese economy, emphasizing that a reinvigorated Japanese economy would have beneficial impact on the economies in East Asia, including the Philippines.

The two leaders acknowledged the potentials in international economic relations in the twenty-first century, brought about by the advancement in information and communication technology (IT), and confirmed their desire to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in this field. In this context, the President highly appreciated "Japan's Comprehensive Cooperation Package to Address the International Digital Divide" under which some tangible developments have already been seen. The two leaders confirmed that the two sides would further promote cooperation in the IT field on the basis of this achievement.

The two sides shared the view that the achievement of peace and progress in Mindanao will contribute to the stability and growth of the Philippines. The Japanese side expressed its support for such peace efforts and reaffirmed its intention to provide development assistance to the extent possible while taking into consideration the security situation in the region. The Philippine side committed itself to making further efforts to ensure security and development in Mindanao.

The two leaders welcomed the close economic ties between the two countries. The Prime Minister requested that the Philippines maintain good conditions for investment to enable Japanese investors to carry on with their projects smoothly. The President underscored the concrete reforms that have been undertaken to encourage Japanese business people to invest in the country, in line with the concerns expressed by some Japanese investors about investment conditions in the Philippines. The Philippines would continue to exert efforts to further improve the investment conditions to weather global competition.

[Regional Cooperation]

The two leaders confirmed that, as the world becomes more globalized and the international society becomes more closely intertwined, further enhancement of the cordial relationship between the two countries will contribute to the prosperity and stability of the region and of the world. The Prime Minister and the President committed themselves to work together and to make contributions in dealing with Asian and global issues beyond the bilateral framework.

The two leaders decided to launch a technical cooperation framework to jointly assist third countries under the "Japan-Philippines Partnership Program", and to jointly promote human resources development particularly in ASEAN countries and East Timor.

The two sides recognized that the frequent occurrence in recent years of piracy and armed robbery against ships especially in Southeast Asian waters has become a critical threat to the navigation of vessels and has greatly affected social stability and economic prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The two sides confirmed that they would enhance regional cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships, based on outcomes of the "Regional Conference on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships" in April last year, and the "Asian Cooperation Conference on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships" to be held this coming October.

The two leaders shared the importance of the ASEAN framework and confirmed their cooperation for stability and development of the East-Asian region through various dialogues both in summit and ministerial levels, including ASEAN{3 (Japan, China, and Republic of Korea), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC). In this context, they also welcomed the recent signing of a Bilateral Swap Arrangement between the monetary authorities of the two countries under the "Chiang Mai Initiative", as a tangible outcome of financial cooperation in the region.

The two leaders noted the stabilizing presence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region. They confirmed that their respective alliances with the US have contributed to this effort. The President believed that a strong Japan-US security cooperation would contribute to the continued peace and stability in the region.

[Global Cooperation]

The two leaders discussed global cooperation. They took note of the important role of the United Nations for international peace, stability and prosperity, and stressed the need for early realization of the United Nations reforms, such as Security Council reform including the expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent membership, fiscal reforms and reforms in the field of development. In this context, the President expressed the Philippine Government's support for Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council.

The two leaders, taking into consideration that the maintenance and strengthening of the multilateral trading system has resulted in increased trade worldwide, decided to work closely, anchored on a broad and balanced agenda, to launch a new WTO round of negotiations at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha.

(End)


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