Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan, and Mr. Vladimir Spidla, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, held a meeting on August 21st, 2003, in Prague during the official visit of Mr. Junichiro Koizumi to the Czech Republic and issued the following statement.

Overview of the relations

Commemorating the 10th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Czech Republic, and referring to the steady development of the relationship in a wide range of fields, including politics, economy, culture etc., both sides recognized with satisfaction that the relations are now expanding possibilities for further cooperation under the structural changes in Europe which include, in particular, the EU enlargement involving 10 more countries in 2004.

Both sides recalled that the visit of Their Imperial Majesties Emperor and Empress of Japan to the Czech Republic in July 2002 had been an epoch-making event and had an enormous impact upon the deepening of friendly relations and mutual understanding between the two countries.

Recognizing the enlargement of the EU in 2004 as one of the significant achievements in Europe, which contributes to the stability of the whole region, the Japanese side expressed its sincere hope that the relationship between the two countries would be further developed not only on a bilateral dimension but also in the context of the overall cooperation between Japan and the EU. Both sides affirmed that they would take utmost care of each other's interest and the merit arising from the development of the bilateral relationship, also within the framework of the EU.

The Japanese side welcomed the enlargement of the EU, with which Japan has been establishing a strategic partnership on a global level, and supports the active involvement of the Czech Republic in the Japan-EU relations. The Czech Republic will be part of the EU treaty basis and in this connection believes that the relations between the two countries will be developed not only on a bilateral level but also within the EU framework. The Czech Republic believes that the business and economic relations between the two countries will be strengthened and deepened after joining the EU.

The Japanese side expressed its will to extend its cooperation with the V4 countries. The Czech side welcomes this Japanese interest; the Czech Republic will, during its presidency of V4, submit for further discussion within the V4 group a proposal for extension of cooperation with Japan in the fields which contain mutual interest.

Japan welcomes participation of the Czech Republic in the dialogue between Asia and the EU, including its earliest possible accession to ASEM in accordance with the Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework 2000.

Political dimension and international issues of mutual interest

Both sides confirmed their will to enhance the political dialogue at all levels in pursuit of possibilities for further cooperation both on a bilateral basis and within multilateral framework, making utmost use of the existing fora. In this context, both sides confirmed that they share the view and interest on major international issues.

With regard to the reconstruction of Iraq, both sides expressed their will to encourage as many countries as possible to participate actively in the Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq to be held in October 2003 and to let them make further contribution to the process of establishment of the Iraqi government managed by the people of Iraq.

Both sides shared the view that the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the nuclear issue, should be solved in a peaceful and diplomatic way, and welcomed that the six-party talks will be convened to seek comprehensive solutions of the issues.

Both sides expressed their grave concern over the North Korean nuclear issue and urged North Korea to refrain from any action that would aggravate the situation, to abide by all related international commitments, and to embark on the verifiable, irreversible, full and prompt dismantlement of its nuclear weapons programme.

The Czech side expressed its full support to Japan's basic position that, on the basis of Japan - North Korea Pyongyang Declaration, it will solve outstanding problems such as nuclear, missile and abduction issues comprehensively and achieve normalization of the diplomatic relations with North Korea in a way that would contribute to the peace and stability of Northeast Asia as a whole.

Both sides reaffirmed their determination to cooperate actively within the framework of the United Nations (UN) for promoting international peace, stability and prosperity in the 21st century, and stressed the need to work together for the early realization of UN reforms, inter alia, the reform of the Security Council including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership. In this context, the Czech side reiterated its support for Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council. The Czech side expressed its intention to become a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2008-2009.

Both sides shared the view that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means poses a serious threat to the international community. In this context, both sides reaffirmed their will to cooperate further in various endeavours to tackle the issue, including the efforts through Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC).

Recognizing that the Kyoto Protocol is an extremely significant first step in strengthening international actions against climate change, both sides confirmed their willingness to strongly urge other countries that have not yet ratified the Kyoto Protocol to do so promptly.

Both sides expressed their intention to cooperate to establish a common rule in which all countries participate in order to ensure the effectiveness of actions against climate change.

Economic dimension

Sharing the recognition that the strengthening of economic ties is one of the keys for maintaining and developing the overall bilateral relations, both sides welcomed the recent growth in trade and investment and expressed hope that the tendency would be further accelerated.

Expecting positive implication of the EU enlargement on the promotion of economic relations between Japan and the Czech Republic, both sides stressed the need of maximizing the benefit arising from enlargement. In this context, the Czech side expressed its intention to:

  • scrutinize with utmost care the compatibility with the EU standards, of existing agreements and future ones of mutual interest, if any, with non-EU member countries and pursue the legal stability to the utmost extent;
  • secure transparency and predictability in the process of harmonization of internal legal system which would have any impact on the investment of foreign origin.

The Japanese side expressed its commitment to continue its support for "Czech Invest" by means of dispatching an expert.

The Czech side noted that the investment from Japan has been contributing to the creation of employment, raising the level of technology and promotion of export, which are all welcomed from the viewpoint of national economic policy of the Czech Republic. Welcoming the efforts made so far by the Czech Republic for improvement of the investment environment, the Japanese side required further measures to be taken by the Czech Government. The Czech side expressed its intention to make utmost efforts to further improve investment environment for foreign investors. The Czech side also expressed its readiness for providing the Japanese business people with opportunities to have meetings with high-ranking officials of the Czech Government about the issues of investment environment improvement.

The Japanese side explained to the Czech side about its initiatives for inward investment promotion such as "Invest Japan" and the Czech side welcomed and expressed its intention to fully utilize them.

Expressing satisfaction with the positive results of cooperation within the framework of the Exchange of Notes on Science and Technology, signed in Prague, November 13, 1978, both sides expressed hope that the exchanges of scientists and experts would be further promoted on a commercial basis as well, to which the experiences of the cooperation on a governmental level would give some impetus, and shared the view that there is further potentiality in the cooperation between the two countries in the area of science and technology, bearing in mind long-term economic development in prospect. In this context, the Czech side expressed its gratitude for Japan's technical assistance so far provided to the Czech Republic.

Both sides expressed their intention to cooperate further to enhance economic relationship between the two countries and their hope for the increase of tourism from one country to the other. In this connection, the Czech side expressed its wish to open a direct flight connection between Japan and the Czech Republic.

Recognizing that the whaling issue should be addressed on the basis of best scientific evidence, both sides shared the view on the importance of conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, whales included, as well as marine environmental protection.

Cultural dimension and People-to-People exchange

Recognizing significance of the cultural exchange as foundation in promoting mutual understanding, each side reconfirmed its interest in the other's attractive culture, both traditional and contemporary, and emphasized its will to enhance exchanges in a variety of fields, which would deepen the mutual understanding between the two peoples. In this connection, along with bilateral exchanges, both sides confirmed that they would jointly prepare for successful implementation, particularly of cultural events commemorating 10th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Czech Republic and, further more, of the " 2005 Japan-EU Year of People-to-People Exchanges ".

Both sides shared their expectations that the pavilion of the Czech Republic at the "2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan " would be one of the most popular and outstanding exhibitions and contribute significantly to further enhancement of the mutual understanding between the people of both countries. The same is anticipated from the broader presentation of Czech art across Japan in the form of " Czech Season 2005 ".

Recognizing that tourism is one of the most important vehicles to bring together people and culture among the countries, both sides expressed hope for more frequent visits of tourists to both directions.

Prague, August 21st, 2003

Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan

Vladimir Spidla
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

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