Joint Declaration on Relations between The European Community and its Member States and Japan

July 18, 1991


The European Community and its member States on the one part and Japan on the other part,

  • conscious of their common attachment to freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights
  • affirming their common attachment to market principles, the promotion of free trade and the development of a prosperous and sound world economy;
  • recalling their increasingly close ties and acknowledging growing worldwide interdependence and, acknowledging growing worldwide interdependence and, consequently, the need for heightened international cooperation;
  • affirming their common interest in security, peace and stability of the world;
  • aware of the importance of deepening their dialogue in order to make a joint contribution towards safeguarding peace in the world, setting up a just an stable international order in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and taking up the global challenges that the international community has to face;
  • mindful of the accelerated process whereby the European Community is acquiring its own identity in the economic and monetary sphere, in foreign policy and in the field of security;

have decided to intensify their dialogue and to strengthen their cooperation and partnership in order that the challenges of the future may be met.


The European Community and its member States and Japan will firmly endeavour to inform and consult each other on major international issues, which are of common interest to both Parties, be they political, economic, scientific, cultural or other. They will strive, whenever appropriate, to co-ordinate their positions. They will strengthen their cooperation and exchange of information both between the two Parties and within international organizations.


The two Parties will set out to explore together areas of possible cooperation, including where appropriate common diplomatic action. They will endeavour to strengthen their cooperation in a fair and harmonious way in all areas of their relations taken as a whole in particular with respect to the following :

  • promoting negotiated solutions to international or regional tensions and the strengthening of the United Nations and other international organizations;
  • supporting social system based on freedom, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and market economy;
  • enhancing policy consultation and, wherever possible, policy coordination on the international issues which might affect world peace and stability, including international security matters such as the non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, the non-proliferation of missile technology and the international transfer of conventional weapons;
  • pursuing cooperation aimed at achieving a sound development of the world economy and trade, particularly in further strengthening the open multilateral trading system, by rejecting protectionism and recourse to unilateral measures and by implementing GATT and OECD principles concerning trade and investment;
  • pursuing their resolve for equitable access to their respective markets and removing obstacles whether structural or other, impeding the expansion of trade and investment, on the basis of comparable opportunities;
  • strengthening their dialogue and cooperation on various aspects of multifaceted relations between both Parties in such areas as trade, investment, industrial cooperation, advanced technology, energy, employment, social affairs and competition rules;
  • supporting the efforts of developing countries, in particular the poorest among them, to achieve sustained development and political and economic progress, along with fostering respect for human rights as a major factor in genuine development, with due regard for the objectives set by international organizations;
  • joining their efforts in meeting transnational challenges, such as the issue of environment, the conservation of resources and energy, terrorism, international crime and drugs and related criminal activity, in particular the laundering of the proceeds of crime;
  • strengthening cooperation and, where appropriate, promoting joint projects in the field of science and technology with a view to contributing to the promotion of scientific knowledge which is essential for the future prosperity of all mankind;
  • developing academic, cultural and youth exchange programmes aiming to increase knowledge and improve understanding between their respective peoples;
  • supporting, in cooperation with other States or organizations, Central and Eastern European countries engaged in political and economic reforms aimed at stabilizing their economies and promoting their full integration into world economy;
  • cooperating, in relation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, for the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity of the region.


Both Parties are committed to engage in continuous dialogue to give substance to this Declaration. To this end, in addition to the full use of all existing regular consultation mechanisms, both Parties have decided to strengthen their mechanisms for consultation and substantial cooperation on global and bilateral issues;

  • especially they have decided to hold annual consultations in Europe or in Japan between, on the one hand, the President of the European Council and the President of the Commission and, on the other, the Japanese Prime Minister;
  • an annual meeting continues to be held between the Commission and the Japanese Government at ministerial level;
  • six-monthly consultations continue to be held between the Foreign Ministers of the Community and the Member of the Commission responsible for external relations (Troika) and the Japanese Foreign Minister;
  • the representatives of Japan are briefed by the Presidency of European Political Cooperation following ministerial political cooperation meetings, and Japan informs the representatives of the Community of Japanese Government's foreign policy.

In order to give substance to this declaration, both Parties will make use of the existing and above-mentioned fora with a view to regularly review its implementation and to provide a permanent stimulus to the development of EC-Japan relations.

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