11th Japan-EU Summit
Outline and Evaluation
July 8, 2002
(1) On Monday, July 8, at the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Tokyo, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held the 11th Japan-European Union Summit (including a working lunch) with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark in his capacity as president of the European Council and President of the European Commission Romano Prodi.*
Also attending the meeting were, on the Japanese side, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Takeo Hiranuma, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kosei Ueno, and others; and on the EU side, European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Trade Pascal Lamy, and others.
(2) At the summit, the leaders confirmed that Japan and the EU will further strengthen their strategic partnership by steadily implementing and developing the Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation, issued in December 2001. They also exchanged views on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including the current international situation (such as counter-terrorism and situations in the Middle East, Russia, Afghanistan, and North Korea) and challenges for the international community, such as the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, climate change, promotion of the new round of World Trade Organization negotiations, and undertakings toward the Asia-Europe Meeting.
(3) A joint press conference followed the meeting, in which the leaders of Japan and the EU affirmed their determination to further intensify Japan-EU cooperation (see the joint press statement).
Summary of the talks
(1) Japan-EU relations
The leaders confirmed that Japan and the EU will steadily implement and develop the Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation, which was adopted at the last summit in December 2001, and further deepen the strategic partnership between Japan and the EU. A Steering Group is to be set up to follow up on the Action Plan.
Prior to the meeting, the co-chairs of the EU-Japan Business Dialogue Roundtable (EUJBDRT), a forum for dialogue between Japanese and European business leaders, submitted their recommendations to Prime Minister Koizumi, Prime Minister Rasmussen, and President Prodi. The leaders encouraged the EUJBDRT to explore future perspectives for economic relations between Japan and the EU.
The leaders recognized the progress made in Japan-EU cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism. They also agreed to continue with cooperative efforts in this field, including consultations between the Japanese ambassador in charge of International Counter-terrorism Co-operation and EU counterparts.
(3) The international situation
- The leaders exchanged their views on a wide range of regional issues, including the situations in the Middle East, Russia, Afghanistan, and North Korea and the tensions between India and Pakistan.
- With regard to the Middle East, the leaders shared the view that the international community should facilitate the Middle East peace process and work toward the early convening of an international conference. With regard to Afghanistan, the leaders touched on the assassination of Vice-President Haji Abdul Qadir and confirmed the importance of ensuring domestic security before the country's reconstruction and nation building can be addressed.
(4) The Johannesburg Summit and coping with climate change
- The leaders reaffirmed that Japan and the EU would cooperate for the success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg, and confirmed their support for President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki. Prime Minister Koizumi stressed that this summit should be action-oriented.
- The leaders confirmed that, in order to ensure effective actions in dealing with climate change, Japan and the EU would together encourage other countries to conclude the Kyoto Protocol, aiming at its early entry into force, and seek the participation of all countries.
(5) WTO, ASEM
- The leaders shared the view that Japan and the EU should closely cooperate to strengthen the WTO, and accelerate negotiations for the promotion of the new round. On the safeguard measures taken by the United States in the steel sector, the leaders expressed their concern that there were protectionist pressures that adversely affect the new round. They also confirmed that both sides would continue their cooperation in this regard.
- The leaders confirmed that the two sides would work together toward the success of the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held in September and that they would cooperate within the ASEM framework, as Japan will be assuming the role of coordinator on the Asian side.
(6) Culture, etc.
The leaders announced that Japan and the EU will cooperate toward making 2005 the Japan-EU Year of People-to-People Exchanges. It was confirmed that both sides will cooperate with regard to a symposium to be held later this year in Tokyo for promoting cultural contacts and people-to-people exchanges.
(1) Japan-EU dialogue has grown closer than ever before. In the seven-month span since the last summit in December 2001, the leaders of Japan and the EU have had many opportunities to meet face-to-face, including the visit of President Prodi to Japan in April and the G8 Summit in Kananaskis.
(2) The fact that Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark visited Japan to hold the summit immediately after taking office on July 1 in his capacity as the president of the European Council is particularly noteworthy in that it demonstrates a great deal of enthusiasm for strengthening Japan-EU relations.
(3) With regard to the Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation, the leaders recognized that many of the initiatives have been steadily implemented over the last seven months. They decided to form a steering group in order to follow up on the progress and agreed on the actions to be targeted by the next Japan-EU Summit. This demonstrates that Japan-EU relations are entering a new, action-oriented stage. Moreover, these efforts are an important step in constructing a deeper strategic partnership between Japan and the EU under the framework of the Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation that began last year.
(4) Given the changing international circumstances, including the situations in the Middle East, Afghanistan and North Korea, and ahead of the Johannesburg Summit, the WTO Ministerial Meeting, and the fourth summit meeting of ASEM, the fact that the leaders of Japan and the EU were able to make a well-timed joint appeal from a common standpoint was highly meaningful.
(5) Furthermore, the leaders' encouragement to the EUJBDRT to explore future perspectives for Japan-EU economic relations was meaningful in promoting future-oriented activities in the business circles of Japan and Europe.
* The Japan-EU Summit was agreed to be held annually in the Joint Declaration on Relations Between the European Community and Its Member States and Japan, which was issued in 1991, in order to strengthen Japan-EU relations. Japan and Europe alternately host the consultations. The 10th meeting was held in Brussels, Belgium (then the EU presidency), in December 2001.
Back to Index