Joint Statement
in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of Japan-Malaysia Diplomatic Relations
"Everlasting Friendship and Far-reaching Partnership: Towards a Common Future"


1. Introduction

H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and Hon. Dato' Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia, held a summit meeting on 24th August 2007 at Putrajaya in conjunction with the first official visit of H.E. Shinzo Abe to Malaysia, where the two leaders exchanged views on wide-ranging bilateral, regional and international issues. Prime Minister Abe expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the 50th anniversary of Malaysia's independence and paid his highest respect to Malaysia's current achievements. Prime Minister Abdullah expressed his deep appreciation for the economic cooperation from Japan to Malaysia for many years.

2. The 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and Future Prospect of the Bilateral Relations between Japan and Malaysia

Prime Minister Abdullah cordially welcomed the official visit of Prime Minister Abe to Malaysia on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Malaysia when various related events for "Japan-Malaysia Friendship Year 2007" are being held in both countries. The two leaders shared the view that this visit was pivotal for giving a fresh impetus to Japan-Malaysia relations.

After 50 years of friendly and cooperative relations, the two leaders were determined to build up a new cooperative relationship to jointly cope with the issues facing the regional and international communities, while promoting further cooperation for human resources development and closer economic ties that constitute a basis of the Japan-Malaysia relationship. To that end, both leaders expressed their willingness to further promote specific cooperation towards a common future in the following five areas under the banner of the "Everlasting Friendship and Far-reaching Partnership."

In order to enhance Japan-Malaysia relations further, Prime Minister Abe extended a formal invitation to Prime Minister Abdullah to visit Japan. Prime Minister Abdullah was pleased to accept the invitation and stated that he would visit Japan at a mutually convenient time.

3. Promotion of Cooperation in the Five Areas and Specific Cooperation

(1) Cooperation in the Political and Security Areas

In order to further enhance the prosperity of the East Asia region where both countries are located, the two leaders shared the view that both sides would promote the following cooperation in order to deal with the political and security issues that the East Asia region is facing today, on the basis of the mutual trust which has been established through the long friendship between the two countries.

(i) Promotion of ASEAN integration and regional cooperation

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment towards enhancing regional integration, peace, security, stability and prosperity through closer and greater cooperation in existing regional frameworks such as the ASEAN-Japan Dialogue relations, ASEAN Plus Three process, East Asia Summit and ASEAN Regional Forum. The two leaders also reaffirmed the long-term goal of creating an East Asian Community with ASEAN as the driving force. In addition, Malaysia welcomed Japan's continuous commitment in supporting ASEAN's effort at narrowing the development gaps and closer regional integration towards building an ASEAN Community by 2015.

(ii) Peace in Mindanao

The two leaders acknowledged that achieving peace in Mindanao, the Republic of the Philippines, is of great significance in ensuring stability and prosperity of this region. Prime Minister Abe admired the presence and successful role of the International Monitoring Team led by Malaysia in safeguarding the peace process. Prime Minister Abdullah highly appreciated the contribution of Japan to the reconstruction and development of Mindanao.

The two leaders confirmed that Japan and Malaysia would continue to collaborate closely, in promoting cooperation on the reconstruction and development in Mindanao, through the Consolidation for Peace Seminar, which will be held this autumn, and the assistance of capacity building in the area of local administration.

(iii) Cooperation related to peacebuilding

The two leaders showed high respect to each other's active efforts in the field of peacebuilding, and shared the view that Japan and Malaysia would collaborate closely in promoting dialogue and information exchange on the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) as well as other peacebuilding activities and would enhance cooperation in the field of human resources development for peacebuilding.

(iv) Ensuring maritime safety and security

The two leaders recognized the importance of maintaining the safety and security of maritime navigation especially in the sea lanes of communication (SLOC), including the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. To this end, Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan's willingness to promote further cooperation for the safety and security of maritime navigation, whilst at the same time respecting fully the sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and territorial integrity of Malaysia. Prime Minister Abdullah reaffirmed Malaysia's commitment in continuing with its efforts to ensure the safety and security of maritime navigation within its maritime areas as well as the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

(v) Cooperation in counter-terrorism

Prime Minister Abe highly appreciated the contribution and active participation of Malaysia in the field of counter-terrorism, as reflected in the agreement to co-host the second ASEAN-Japan Counter Terrorism Dialogue, which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2007. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of regional cooperation in counter-terrorism and recommended that ASEAN Member countries strengthen cooperation in this area.

(2) Cooperation in the Economic Area

The two leaders, recognizing that longstanding close economic ties have formed the foundation of Japan-Malaysia relations, reconfirmed the steady implementation of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of Malaysia for an Economic Partnership, which entered into force last year. In order to consolidate the prosperity in the region, they concurred on the importance of early conclusion of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and promotion of regional cooperation such as the study on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and the timely establishment of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). On ERIA, Prime Minister Abdullah informed that Malaysia can offer a conducive environment for the location of this independent institute.

Prime Minister Abdullah cordially welcomed the visit of Japanese high-level business mission, which accompanied Prime Minister Abe, and was delighted that the Japan-Malaysia Business Forum was to be held to welcome this business mission. The two leaders expressed their expectation that its visit would enhance Japan-Malaysia economic relations further.

Prime Minister Abdullah further expressed that Malaysia would like to see more Japanese involvement in the development of Southern and Northern Economic Regions of Malaysia to take advantage on the business opportunities offered in the development.

(3) Cooperation in the Area of Human Resources Development

Prime Minister Abe expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the 25th anniversary of the "Look East Policy." He also expressed his deep respect for the continuous efforts of the Malaysian government to have sent about eleven thousand Malaysian students and trainees to Japan for the last 25 years. Prime Minister Abdullah indicated that the "Look East Policy" has played important roles for the economic development of Malaysia and highly appreciated Japan's cooperation. The two leaders reconfirmed that the "Look East Policy" has created the strong ties between the peoples of Japan and Malaysia and that such ties constitute an important basis of Japan-Malaysia relations.

Prime Minister Abdullah indicated that the Government of Malaysia would continue sending students and trainees to Japan under the "Look East Policy" for studies and training programmes in various fields. Prime Minister Abe confirmed that Japan would continue to extend support, assistance and cooperation to the Government of Malaysia in the human resources development programme under the "Look East Policy."

The two leaders also confirmed their intention to strongly promote people-to-people exchanges especially among the youth, including the steady implementation of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS Programme), which was announced by Prime Minister Abe on the occasion of the Second East Asia Summit (EAS) meeting held in Cebu in January 2007.

The two leaders, reconfirming the significance of Malaysia-Japan International University of Technology (MJIUT) as a center for human resources development in ASEAN, expressed their commitment to work together for the early establishment of MJIUT. The two leaders also welcomed that the exchange between Japanese and Malaysian universities had been intensified through the preparatory works for the establishment of MJIUT.

(4) Cooperation in the Area of Environment and Energy Sectors

The two leaders recognized that environment and energy issues including climate change have become challenges for the world as a whole, and shared the determination to further promote mutual cooperation in environment and energy issues.

The two leaders shared the need to cut global emissions by half from the current level by 2050 in order to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, proposed in the "Cool Earth 50," which was announced by Prime Minister Abe in May 2007. Prime Minister Abdullah highly appreciated Prime Minister Abe's initiative which calls for an effective framework for addressing climate change beyond 2012 in which all countries participate under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), while respecting the principles of "common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities."

The two leaders reaffirmed the importance to set goals and formulate action plans for improving energy efficiency in a positive manner, based on the "Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security" issued during the Second EAS held in January 2007. They welcomed the on-going bilateral initiatives in the field of energy for the mutual benefits of both countries. These include the collaboration in the area of bio-fuel production using hydrocracking technology. Prime Minister Abe expressed his willingness to promote energy cooperation with Malaysia such as those based on Japan's cooperation initiative for clean energy and sustainable growth announced by Prime Minister Abe during the Second EAS. Prime Minister Abdullah valued and welcomed his proposal.

The two leaders shared the view that it is important from the aspect of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and conserving biodiversity to promote sustainable forest management in Malaysia, where the world class tropical forest and biodiversity are preserved, and confirmed their intention to work together in those areas through multilateral cooperation such as the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

The two leaders recognized the effectiveness of the co-benefits approach to climate change related to antipollution measures on a regional basis.

(5) Other Areas of Cooperation in the International Arena

(i) Africa

Recalling that cooperative relationships between Japan and Malaysia in various areas have accelerated Malaysia's development, and recognizing that trade and investment will play a major role in the development of Africa, the two leaders reached the common recognition on the importance of sharing Asia's experience of successful development with Africa. Prime Minister Abe indicated that Japan would host the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008 and that this Conference would aim at mobilizing the expertise and financial resources of international community for: (a) boosting economic growth in Africa; (b) ensuring "Human Security;" and (c) addressing environmental issues and climate change. Prime Minister Abe requested Malaysia's cooperation on this Conference. Prime Minister Abdullah concurred on the significance of TICAD IV and expressed his willingness to cooperate for its success.

(ii) North Korea

The two leaders concurred that North Korea must continue actions towards denuclearization through the swift implementation of the Joint Statement of 19th September 2005 and Initial Actions for the Implementation of the Joint Statement, 13th February 2007 of the Six-Party Talks. Prime Minister Abdullah confirmed Malaysia's strong support in the implementation of the Joint Statements adopted by the Six-Party Talks. The two leaders emphasized the importance of steadily implementing United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1695 and 1718. The two leaders urged North Korea to actively address the security and humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abduction issue.

(iii) Reform of the United Nations

The two leaders emphasized the importance of realizing an early reform of the United Nations, particularly its Security Council. Prime Minister Abdullah reiterated the Malaysia's support for Japan's permanent membership in the expanded United Nations Security Council.

Signed in Putrajaya, August 24, 2007

(Shinzo Abe)
Prime Minister of Japan
(Dato' Seri Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi)
Prime Minister of Malaysia

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