Vice-Ministerial Subcommittee Meeting of the
Japanese-Russian Joint Committee on the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty and Vice
(October 9, Tokyo)
October 9, 2001
On October 9, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshiyuki Takano and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Aleksandr Losyukov held a Vice-Ministerial Subcommittee Meeting of the Japanese-Russian Joint Committee on the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty (including the meeting of the Subcommittee on Border Demarcation and the Subcommittee on Joint Economic Activities) and vice-ministerial consultations. The following is an outline of the meetings.
1. Bilateral Issues
(1) Political Dialogue
- It was agreed that the two sides would coordinate their schedules in order to realize a summit meeting on the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Meeting to be held in Shanghai.
- It was also agreed that the visit to Japan by Deputy Chairman of Government Viktor Khristenko and Minister for Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov should be realized at the earliest possible occasion. Deputy Chairman of Government Khristenko serves as the Russian side chairman of the Japan-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs to be held on the occasion of his visit to Japan.
- In this context, the Russian side invited Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka to make a visit to Russia.
- In this Moreover, it was agreed that the visit to Japan by Chairman of Government Mikhail Kasiyanov and the visit to Russia by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi would be considered.
- In this The importance of maintaining the momentum of political dialogue through high-level consultations was confirmed.
(2) Negotiations on the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty
- Firstly, the Japanese side stated that as the basic policy in Japan-Russia relations, it is important to advance relations in a broad area in order to make simultaneous progress in the three subjects of the conclusion of a peace treaty, cooperation in economic areas, and cooperation on the international stage.
- In addition, the Japanese side conveyed to the Russian side that in negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty, the basic Japanese policy has remained totally unchanged between the administrations of former Prime Minister Mori and current Prime Minister Koizumi.
- It was agreed that vigorous discussions would be continued on the basis of results achieved until now.
(3) The Issue of Third-Country Fishing in the Waters Around the Four Northern Islands
- The Japanese side conveyed to the Russian side the basic policy that fishery operations by third countries in these waters was unacceptable. It was agreed that a solution to this issue acceptable to both sides should be reached as soon as possible through vigorous discussions.
- The discussions on a solution to this issue are still ongoing and there is no immediate prospect for agreement between the two sides.
(4) Other Bilateral Issues
a. Economic Areas
It was agreed to continue to support the further development of Japan-Russia economic relations through such fora as the Japan-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs. In this context, the importance of resolving specific issues such as the Kama truck factory project and the Santa Resort Hotel case and thereby increasing positive examples was conveyed to the Russian side.
b. Free Visits to the Four Islands
Despite the fact that it had been agreed to establish four new entry points in order to ease the access to the islands, the Russian side have yet to establish them and it was requested by the Japanese side that they be set up as soon as possible.
2. The International Situation
(1) Simultaneous Terrorist Attacks in the United States of America
- Concerning the international situation, 90% of discussions was focused on the simultaneous terrorist attacks in the United States. The contents of the discussions included measures of Japan and Russia, the internal situation in Afghanistan and countries surrounding Afghanistan. In addition, it was confirmed that concerning the issues of terrorism, both Japan and Russia share basic ideas. The Russian side made the following specific statements:
- Concerning the Chechen issue, it has a direct link with the present terrorist attacks as the terrorist organizations involved were the same in both cases.
- Russia basically supports the stance taken by the United States and would continue to offer support.
- Actions against terrorism should be based on international law.
- Military strikes in Afghanistan alone would not eradicate terrorism.
- The Russian side highly evaluated Japan's stance. It was stated that Japan could make a large contribution in areas of humanitarian support, particularly assistance to refugees and support for reconstruction.
- It is necessary to create an administration in Afghanistan that is both ethnically and politically balanced, and it is preferable to achieve this goal under the framework of the United Nations.
- Concerning the future administration of Afghanistan, it is important that the administration can be accepted by all the ethnic groups in Afghanistan and by surrounding countries. This is necessary for the stability of Afghanistan and the surrounding region.
- Instability in Pakistan should be avoided and Japan is offering support to this end.
- Throughout the 1990s Japan provided economic cooperation and refugee assistance to Central Asia, and it considers that it will provide more appropriate refugee assistance. Such an announcement was made by the Prime Minister's Special Envoy, Member of the House of Representatives Muneo Suzuki, on his visit to the Republic of Tajikistan.
(2) The International Situation other than Terrorism
1. U.S.-Russia Relations
The Russian side stated that through cooperation on anti-terrorism, a good atmosphere for negotiations had been created, although this good atmosphere did not guarantee all issues between the two nations to be resolved, it could be a sound basis on which to move towards solution.
2. The Situation in North Korea
The Japanese side stated that stability on the Korean Peninsula is imperative for stability in East Asia and that therefore the stability of North Korea is important. In response, the Russian side stated that over the last one or two years, Russia-North Korea relations have substantially improved and a policy of engagement is considered to be the best.
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