JAPAN - HUNGARY JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

March 17, 2008
Tokyo
Japanese

  1. H.E. Dr. Kinga Göncz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary visited Japan from March 17 to 19, 2008 at the invitation of the Government of Japan. Minister Göncz held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on March 17, where the two Ministers discussed a wide range of issues, including the bilateral relations and global issues of mutual interest. Dr. Kinga Göncz paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on March 18, and had an audience with His Imperial Highness Crown Prince on March 18, 2008.
  2. Recalling the Joint Statement between Japan and the Republic of Hungary in October 2004 and the Foreign Ministers' Meeting between Japan and the Republic of Hungary in January 2007, both sides reviewed the achievements up to present and exchanged views on the future direction of the bilateral relations.
  3. Both sides appreciated the valuable work done by the Japan-Hungary Cooperation Forum, which submitted recommendations to both Prime Ministers: from Co-chairman Hiromasa Yonekura to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and from Co-chairman Dr. Szilveszter E. Vizi to Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány respectively. Both sides confirmed their intention to utilize the recommendations for promoting bilateral relations.
  4. Both sides shared the view that the joint initiative of the two governments to commemorate in 2009 the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, as well as the 50th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries, will further develop bilateral cooperation in many fields. Welcoming the Light-Up Project of the Elisabeth Bridge in Budapest, an initiative put forward by Japanese individuals devoted to the promotion of bilateral ties, and fully supported by the Hungarian side, the two Ministers shared the view that the Project should be highlighted as one of the main commemorative projects of the year 2009.
  5. The Japanese side highly appreciated the contribution of the Republic of Hungary to the development of developing countries based on the experience of the transition of the Republic of Hungary. Welcoming the Republic of Hungary's participation in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Japanese side expressed the expectation that the Republic of Hungary would contribute to deepening the international consultation based on its own experience. Both sides welcomed emerging bilateral cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Hungary in the area of development assistance in third countries, such as those in Vietnam and Afghanistan. Both sides shared their intentions to continue consultations in order to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in this field.

    Regarding Climate Change, both sides shared the determination to cooperate in establishing an effective framework beyond 2012 with the participation of all countries in accordance with Bali Action Plan. The Hungarian side appreciated and supported the "Cool Earth Promotion Programme" proposed by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the Memorandum between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Hungary on cooperation in the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol in accordance with Article 6 and 17 of the Kyoto Protocol signed in December 2007 which was the first document for bilateral cooperation for GIS signed by the Government of Japan. Both sides emphasized the importance of implementing concrete cooperation projects based on the Memorandum. Regarding cooperation through the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) for environmental affairs in Central and Eastern Europe, both sides appreciated the ongoing cooperation between Japanese companies and REC and welcomed its further development. Both sides expressed their willingness to continue supporting the activity of REC having in mind the common efforts in the field of climate change.
  6. Both sides expressed their determination to work together actively for the realization of the United Nations Security Council reform, including the expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council. The Hungarian side reiterated its support for Japan's permanent membership in the Security Council. The Japanese side expressed its appreciation for the support. The two Ministers discussed international and regional issues of mutual interest, such as North Korea, Kosovo.

    Both sides confirmed their intention to strengthen V4+Japan cooperation in such areas as international issues, investment promotion, tourism and development assistance, and confirmed the necessity of closer cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Hungary, which will assume the Presidency of V4 from July, 2009.
  7. Welcoming the close bilateral relations in the area of trade and investment, both sides expressed their expectation that the Exchange of Notes on mutual exemption from the examination of driving permits, which was signed today by two Ministers, would contribute to further strengthening economic relations. Both sides confirmed their commitment to cooperate closely for informal discussion concerning social security agreement. The Japanese side appreciated that the Hungarian side extended the period of validity of the working permit for Japanese business persons from one year to two years.
  8. Recognizing the significance of the Japanese language education as tool to promote the understanding of Japan among Hungarian people, both sides expressed the expectation for the implementation of the "Special Assistance Program for Japanese Language Education in Hungary" established by the Japan-Hungary Cooperation Forum and for the early implementation of the Japan Cultural Volunteers Program to be initiated by the Government of Japan.
  9. Both sides welcomed the signing of the Memoranda of Understanding between the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and the Yokosuka Research Park (YRP) as well as between BME and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in the field of information and communications technology, which is a promising step to the further cooperation.

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