Visit by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Australia and New Zealand
(Overview and Evaluation)

May 3, 2002

From 30 April to 3 May 2002, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid a visit to Australia and New Zealand. The following is an overview and evaluation of the visit.

1. Itinerary

30 April
Afternoon: Arrival at Canberra
1 May
Morning: Japan-Australia Summit Meeting (small meeting and larger meeting) with Prime Minister John Winston Howard of Australia
Lunch: Luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Howard
Afternoon: Wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Visit to the Australian War Memorial
Departure from Canberra
Arrival in Sydney
Courtesy Call on Premier of New South Wales Robert John Carr
Policy speech made at the lecture meeting hosted by the Asia Society
2 May
Morning: Departure from Sydney
Afternoon: Arrival in Wellington
Japan-New Zealand Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand
Courtesy Call by Leader of the National Party Bill English, MP
Dinner hosted by Prime Minister Clark
3 May
Morning: Departure from Wellington
Afternoon: Arrival in Tokyo

2. Overview

(1) Japan-Australia Summit Meeting

On 1 May, Prime Minister Koizumi met with Prime Minister John Winston Howard of Australia from 08:20 for about one hour and twenty minutes (40 minutes for a small meeting, and 40 minutes for a larger meeting). After the meetings, a Joint Press Statement was released. The following is a summary of those meetings.

a. Measures against terrorism

Both leaders confirmed that an international coalition was necessary regarding measures against terrorism and they pledged that Japan and Australia would cooperate with each other.

b. East Timor

Prime Minister Koizumi praised the leadership shown by Australia in East Timor, stating that he would like to consider along with Australia how to cooperate in East Timor. In response, Prime Minister Howard stated that he understood the role Japan was playing in regional security and greatly welcomed the contribution Japan was making in East Timor.

c. North Korea

Prime Minister Koizumi stated that in addition to the close cooperation among Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America to ensure the stability on the Korea Peninsula, he would also like to cooperate in this regard with Australia, which has diplomatic relations with North Korea. In response, Prime Minister Howard stated that he would be pleased to offer such cooperation.

d. East Asia

Prime Minister Koizumi explained his vision for a "community that acts together and advances together" and said that he expected Australia to be a core member of such a community. In response, Prime Minister Howard offered his strongest support.

e. Overall Japan-Australia Relations

Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan-Australia relations were good and moving in a positive direction. He further remarked that he was seeking to construct a Creative Partnership between Japan and Australia, as both countries share similar values. In response, Prime Minister Howard stated that he would also like to further strengthen the close bilateral relations between the two countries in both economic and regional security aspects.

f. Japan-Australia Economic Partnership

Prime Minister Howard stated that in his opinion Japan and Australia should set as a future objective the attainment of a free trade agreement and move toward it step-by-step. Prime Minister Koizumi also noted that to bring an economic partnership into view, the two sides were holding consultations at different levels and advancing step-by-step, so as to lead to a free trade agreement in the future. Concerning the economic partnership mentioned in the Joint Press Statement, the statement noted that "The Prime Ministers agreed the two Governments would launch high-level consultations to explore all options for deeper economic linkages between Australia and Japan."

g. Kyoto Protocol

Prime Minister Howard stated that it was important for both the United States and developing countries to join the Kyoto Protocol. Prime Minister Koizumi responded by saying he expected Australia's participation in the Kyoto Protocol and that it would be necessary for Japan and Australia to bilaterally coordinate on this issue.

(2) Speech by Prime Minister Koizumi in Sydney

On the evening of the 1 May, Prime Minister Koizumi attended a lecture meeting hosted by the Asia Society and gave a speech entitled, "Japan and Australia Toward a Creative Partnership." In the speech, the Prime Minister made the following points among others: a) he will continue bold structural reforms for the future of Japan, the East Asian region and the global economy; b) Japan will call for Australia's participation toward the creation of a community in East Asia that "acts together and advances together" and for concrete cooperation (through economic partnership and in East Timor, etc.) that takes into account the reality in Asia; and c) Japan would like to advance Japan-Australia cooperation in global challenges such as measures against terrorism, the environment and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The speech received rounds of applause throughout and after Prime Minister Koizumi concluded his speech there ensued a vigorous question and answer session, making the evening a most significant one.

(3) Japan-New Zealand Summit Meeting

On 2 May, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held a Summit Meeting with Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand from 12:05 for about one hour. The following is an overview of the meeting.

a. Global Issues (measures against terrorism, Afghanistan, environment)

Both Prime Ministers agreed on the need for international solidarity in measures against terrorism and for assistance to Afghanistan. Prime Minister Koizumi stated that during the current session of the Diet, the Kyoto Protocol would be ratified and that Japan would resolutely call upon the United States for its participation. In addition, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that he expected New Zealand to ratify the Protocol, and he noted that thanks to advances in science and technology he believed it was possible to achieve both the improvement of environment and development. In response, Prime Minister Clark stated that she wanted to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by August and was seeking cooperation between Japan and New Zealand, including cooperation in technology sectors to ensure environmental protection.

b. East Asia

Prime Minister Koizumi explained his vision for a "community that acts together and advances together" and stated his expectation that New Zealand would be a core member of such a community. In response, Prime Minister Clark said that New Zealand was a part of East Asia, rather than Europe or North America, and as such she strongly supported Prime Minister Koizumi's vision.

c. Bilateral Relations

Prime Minister Clark stated that on the occasion of her visit to Japan in April 2001, she had expressed her aim to advance relations in five sectors (science and technology, tourism, forestry, human exchange and education). Prime Minister Koizumi responded by saying that he took this point of view by the New Zealand side very seriously and was seeking to advance the Japan-New Zealand relationship to make a further expansion of exchange possible. In addition, Prime Minister Clark stated that a free trade agreement between Japan and New Zealand would be favorable but added that she understood it would be difficult to achieve such an agreement at the current time. Rather, she said that for now, it would be better to proceed step-by-step with concrete exchanges.

d. Regional Situation (East Timor, Korean Peninsula)

Both Prime Ministers agreed to contribute to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and assistance toward nation-building in East Timor. Prime Minister Koizumi stated that he would like New Zealand, which has diplomatic relations with North Korea, to explain to North Korea the benefit of having dialogues and cooperation with the international community. In response, Prime Minister Clark stated that she hoped to do this.

e. Other issues (structural reform, whaling, fisheries, transportation of radioactive material)

In response to a question from Prime Minister Koizumi concerning the status of reforms in New Zealand, Prime Minister Clark stated that government in general, should think about social equality together with economic rationalization, and that her current administration was working on reform while creating a balance between those two considerations.

Prime Minister Clark raised the issues of whaling, fisheries and transportation of radioactive material. Prime Minister Koizumi responded that he would like to address these issues constructively so that the issues on which the two countries take different stances do not hinder the excellent bilateral relationship.

3. Evaluation

(1) Concerning the concept of "a community that acts together and advances together" in East Asia announced by Prime Minister Koizumi in January 2002 in Singapore, it was confirmed that both Australia and New Zealand strongly supported this vision and Australia and New Zealand presented directions that they would take to build-up specific cooperation in the future.

(2) Concerning global issues (measures against terrorism, the Kyoto Protocol, etc.) and regional issues (East Timor, the Korean Peninsula, etc.), the countries confirmed a common idea and pledged cooperation. This will contribute to the strengthening of diplomatic relations, founded on shared values, between Japan and Australia as well as Japan and New Zealand.

(3) Concerning economic partnership, while bringing a free trade agreement into view is a future challenge for Japan and Australia, the two sides decided to have consultations on all possible options. In Japan-New Zealand relations, the two sides decided to promote concrete exchanges, including the new level of engagement in the five areas proposed by the New Zealand side. In this way, it was fruitful that directions for strengthening bilateral economic relations were made clear.

(4) In particular, a pledge was made in the meetings with Australia to create dynamic and forward-looking relations, based on the new international environment at the beginning of the 21st century. In addition to the content of specific cooperation being discussed, the result announced as the "Australia-Japan Creative Partnership" contributed to a significant promotion in Japan-Australia relations.


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