Japan-Russia Action Plan
1. Deepening of Political Dialogue: Advancing Multi-tiered and Comprehensive Dialogue
As a result of active dialogue that has taken place at various levels during recent years, trust and mutual understanding have deepened in the relations between both countries, while at the same time their bilateral relations have reached an unprecedented high stage, and a major direction has been shown for action toward building a creative partnership.
Summit meetings have taken place on five occasions in the short period, from the Official Visit to Japan by President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in September 2000 to the visit to the Russian Federation by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in January 2003. Close dialogue has been carried out at all possible occasions between the respective foreign ministers. The practice of regular mutual visits between the Director-General of the Defense Agency of Japan and the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation has been established. Furthermore, the Japan-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs, which is jointly chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Vice Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, has held six meetings thus far. Active dialogue between the ministers and directors-general of the respective ministries and agencies of both countries has taken place, and efforts have been promoted to resolve various working-level issues in relation to cooperation between the two countries. In addition, relations between the parliaments of both countries have deepened.
In order to further develop bilateral relations between Japan and the Russian Federation and enhance their cooperation in the international arena, both sides agree to aim for the following actions.
Both sides will activate dialogue at the leaders level by ensuring regular exchange between their leaders, proactively taking advantage of opportunities at multilateral fora to hold bilateral summit meetings, and by frequently holding telephone conferences including making the most use of a Hotline between the Japanese Prime Minister's Official Residence in Tokyo and the Kremlin in Moscow, whose establishment is being coordinated.
Both sides will continue to make efforts to expand contact at the ministerial level by frequent contacts between their foreign ministers, continuing mutual visits by the Director-General of the Defense Agency of Japan and the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, regular holding of the Japan-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs, actively using meetings between the joint chairs of that committee, and through contacts at the ministerial, director-general and other levels including meetings at multilateral fora.
Both sides, from the perspective that active exchanges between their parliaments is an important factor for strengthening the positive trend in their relations, will support further expansion of exchanges between parliamentarians of their parliaments, which are the representatives of their peoples, through mutual visits between the President of the House of Councilors and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan and the heads of the Federal Council and State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, and exchanges between committees and parliamentarian federations, exchanges between political parties, and individual exchanges among parliamentarians in diverse sectors.
2. Peace Treaty Negotiations: Overcoming Difficult Legacies from the Past and Opening up a new horizon for broad Japan-Russia Partnership
As a result of the vigorous negotiations that have been continued between both countries, various important agreements have been achieved, including the 1956 Japan-Soviet Joint Declaration, the 1993 Tokyo Declaration on Japan-Russia Relations, the 1998 Moscow Declaration on Building a Creative Partnership Between Japan and the Russian Federation, the 2000 Statement by the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Russian Federation on the Issue of a Peace Treaty, and the 2001 Irkutsk Statement by the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Russian Federation on the Continuation of Future Negotiations on the Issue of a Peace Treaty. With the objective to prepare solutions of this difficult issue, the Joint Committee on the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty, co-chaired by the foreign ministers of both countries, and under its purview, the Subcommittee on Border Demarcation, and the Subcommittee on Joint Economic Activities, have been established.
A series of efforts have been undertaken to increase public awareness of both countries on the importance of steady development in Japan-Russia relations and the conclusion of a peace treaty. Various forums and seminars have been held between both countries, including the Japan-Russia Forum: Japan-Russia Relations in the Asia-Pacific Region in the Epoch of Globalization, the Joint Compendium of Documents on the History of Territorial Issue Between Japan and Russia, was published and active discussion has been promoted among learned experts, academics and specialists of both countries on the issue of a peace treaty. Members of both countries' parliaments have actively participated in such discussions. These discussions have led to the common conclusion that there is a need to secure an atmosphere in the relations of both countries free from emotions and preconceptions in order to advance negotiations on concluding the peace treaty. As a result of four-island visits between the residents of the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai (hereinafter referred to as "the Islands") and Japanese citizens, so-called "free visits" and other means, mutual understanding has been deepened between the citizens of both countries. Since 1991, approximately 10,000 people from both countries have participated in these exchanges.
Under the framework of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Russian Federation on some matters of cooperation in the field of fishing operations for marine living resources signed in 1998, Japanese fishing vessels have been able to smoothly engage in fishing operations in the waters around the Islands.
Over the past ten years, assistance has been provided to the residents of the Islands by the Government of Japan through the Cooperation Committee.
Both sides, based on the recognition that it is important to continue to seek qualitatively new bilateral relations and deepen further mutual understanding and respect and strengthen mutual trust, will vigorously carry on the process of seeking a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of concluding a peace treaty. In doing so, both sides will take the following actions.
Both sides, based on the recognition that the Joint Declaration of Japan and the USSR in 1956, the Tokyo Declaration on Japan-Russia Relations in 1993, the Irkutsk Statement by the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Russian Federation on continuation of future negotiations on the issue of a Peace Treaty in 2001, and other agreements are the basis for negotiations to accomplish complete normalization of Japan-Russia relations by means of concluding a peace treaty through the solution of issues where the Islands belong, will accelerate negotiations to resolve the remaining issues at an early date. Both sides confirm that it is extremely important to maintain mutual understanding, trust and a broad and mutually beneficial cooperative atmosphere across diverse areas in their relations in order to conduct negotiations.
Both sides, from the perspective of the 2000 Statement by the Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the Russian Federation on the Issue of a Peace Treaty, will continue efforts to explain to the peoples of both countries the importance of concluding a peace treaty and steadily developing relations of both countries in all areas, including jointly compiling and distributing educational materials.
Both sides will make efforts to continue to develop the four-island visits. In doing so, particular attention will be given to activities such as exchange among youth and children, as well as the teaching of each others' languages. Furthermore, both sides will improve the methods for implementing the so-called "free visits," bearing in mind their agreement that they be conducted by a streamlined system to the maximum extent.
Both sides will exchange views on the occasion of the Japan-Russia Joint Committee on Environmental Conservation relating to environmental issues in light of the joint survey on the environment in regions around the Islands implemented within the framework of the four-island visits.
Both sides will cooperate as necessary to ensure that effective implementation is made of appropriate assistance extended from a humanitarian perspective by Japan to the residents of the Islands. Japan intends to continue to provide such assistance.
Both sides, from the recognition that the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Russian Federation on some matters of cooperation in the field of fishing operations for marine living resources signed in 1998 has contributed to strengthening bilateral relations and deepening relations of trust between both countries, will continue cooperation as stipulated in the agreement on a mutually beneficial foundation.
Both sides will seek modalities acceptable to both countries for joint economic activities in the regions around the Islands through the activities of the Subcommittee on Joint Economic Activities.
3. Cooperation in the International Arena: Advancing Dialogue and Action as Strategic Partners
In recent years, Japan-Russian Federation cooperation has advanced greatly making use of the United Nations, the G8 and fora in the Asia-Pacific region such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in order to respond to pressing international issues.
Both sides have strengthened cooperation in taking effective measures to counter international terrorism, whose urgency has greatly increased since the series of terrorist incidence that occurred in the United States on 11 September 2001. In November 2002, the Japan-Russian Consultation on Counter-Terrorism was held.
Cooperation has expanded in the areas of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Both sides have acted cooperatively in the international non-proliferation regime and have advanced multilateral consultations on disarmament issues.
Cooperation has been undertaken within the framework of the Committee on Cooperation for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, established in 1993. With assistance provided by Japan, the liquid radioactive waste treatment plant named Suzuran (Lily of the Valley) was established in the Far East Region of the Russian Federation and operations were initiated. Regarding the disposal of surplus weapons-grade plutonium, cooperation has steadily advanced between concerned agencies in both countries on research related to disposal methods making use of fast breeder reactors, while at the same time advance disposal has been achieved. Furthermore, both sides have carried out cooperation through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
Regarding dialogue on the regional situation, during recent years the scope of regional issues taken up in consultations between the foreign ministries of both nations has been greatly expanded and cooperative efforts toward resolving pressing international issues have been greatly strengthened. Through consultations between the policy-planning divisions of the foreign ministries of both nations, a significant exchange of opinions has been undertaken from the perspective of the medium to long-term outlook for developments in the international situation.
Both sides, in accordance with the stipulations of the Joint Statement on the Issue of a Cooperation Between Japan and the Russian Federation on International Affairs signed in September 2000 and the Joint Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on Combating International Terrorism signed in February 2002, will take the following actions.
Both sides will cooperate at the global and regional levels on wide-ranging issues related to maintaining and strengthening peace and stability.
(Areas of Cooperation to Solve International Issues)
Both sides will positively advance cooperation at the United Nations, G8 and other international frameworks in order to coordinate in responding to various international issues.
Both sides will make use of various channels to actively exchange information concerning latent terrorism threats. Furthermore, both sides will make use of fora that have been established for consultations on terrorism and will cooperate in consultations on measures against terrorism within multilateral frameworks including supporting efforts toward the early adoption of treaties to prevent terrorism including the United Nations Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the Convention to Suppress Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and will advance cooperation on issues of international terrorism.
Both sides will continue to provide cooperation with the objective of assisting Afghanistan and the surrounding countries. Both sides will make efforts to provide appropriate cooperation to prevent the flow of illegal narcotics from Afghanistan in the border regions of the Republic of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Both sides will strive to add momentum to cooperative activities concerning all issues related to activities of the United Nations with the goal of enhancing the capacity of the United Nations to flexibly and efficiently act in response to the needs and challenges of the current world. Both sides believe that enhancing the role and authority of the United Nations Security Council holds a particular significance in the process of United Nations reform, including reform of the United Nations Security Council based on achieving general agreement among Member States. The Russian Federation confirmed its support of Japan as a candidate to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Both sides will expand their cooperation within the framework of the G8 while cooperating through efforts such as sharing experiences in the process of preparing for the hosting of the G8 Leaders Meeting in the Russian Federation in 2006. Japan will take a positive approach to phased expansion of the manner in which Russian Federation participates in discussions on agenda items related to financial issues in the G8 Summit and the process of preparation for the Summit.
(Areas of Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation)
Both sides will promote the enhancement of international peace and stability and will take actions toward maintaining and developing existing international frameworks in the areas of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. Japan welcomes the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed on 24 May 2002 by the Russian Federation and the United States of America as a foundation for further reduction in strategic offensive weapons.
Both sides will strengthen coordinating mechanisms for actions in order to accelerate the realization of projects decided within the framework of the Committee on Cooperation for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Both sides will secure the steady implementation of projects related to the dismantlement of decommissioned Russian nuclear submarines in the Far East region of the Russian Federation.
Both sides will activate efforts focusing on concrete development of the Guidelines for New or Expanded Projects for a G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction with the objective of advancing projects in non-proliferation, disarmament, counter terrorism measures and nuclear energy security in the Russian Federation.
Both sides will positively cooperate on efforts toward deciding methods to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium through the G8.
Both sides will strive to promote the cooperation through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
(Dialogue on the Regional Situation)
Both sides will place importance on security and the enhancement of trust, and will actively promote the development of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region, including such frameworks as the ARF. Japan welcomes the will of the Russian Federation to participate in the activities of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Both sides support constructive efforts through dialogue by countries concerned to resolve all issues pertinent to the Korean Peninsula from the perspective of the vital necessity of easing tensions on the Korea Peninsula and maintaining and enhancing the peace and stability of Northeast Asia. In this regard, Japan emphasizes the importance of, based upon the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration signed by the leaders of Japan and North Korea on 17 September 2002, resolving concerns between Japan and North Korea, including the abduction issue and security problems and normalizing relations with North Korea. The Russian side confirms that it will provide all the cooperation possible toward the normalization of Japan-North Korea relations in such a manner.
Both sides will promote peaceful resolution of all issues in relation to the nuclear plans of North Korea, in order to secure an enhanced structure for non-proliferation and a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. Both sides have expressed their deep regret and grave concerns with regard to recent developments in the nuclear issue in North Korea and the declaration by North Korea concerning its intention to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and not comply with their obligations under the safeguards agreement of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In this regard, both sides confirm that it is vital that North Korea immediately withdraw its decision and cooperate immediately and completely with the IAEA concerning the resolution on the implementation of safeguards adopted by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of 29 November 2002 and 6 January 2003, and call on all related countries to continue with dialogue in order to find a political solution to the various related issues.
Both sides will deepen close bilateral high-level dialogue that has been established to date on various issues concerning the situation on the Korea Peninsula.
Both sides will advance cooperation into the possibility of the creation of a framework for multilateral dialogue concerning security in Northeast Asia.
Both sides, in addition to cooperating with the United Nations weapons inspector teams completely and without prerequisite conditions that Iraq does not obstruct the implementation of inspections, will work to ensure the total implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, including the resolution concerning the disposal of weapons of mass destruction.
Both sides will assist in the implementation of peace negotiations for creation of an environment for the establishment of a Palestinian state, based on the principles of democracy and international law.
Both sides will take various measures to coordinate within a bilateral and multilateral framework for the promotion of confidence building in South Asia.
Both sides will cooperate in the implementation of the G8 Africa Action Plan that was adopted at the G8 Kananaskis Summit.
Both sides, in addition to continuing to hold regular consultations between foreign ministries for the expansion of cooperation towards the resolution of international issues of urgency, will consult as necessary on regional security issues with the participation of the relevant defense authorities.
4. Cooperation in Trade and Economic Areas: Trust and Actions of Mutual Benefit
Cooperation in trade and economic and science and technology areas, is one in which there are some items of strategic priority in bilateral relations. In recent years both sides have created measures for the development of cooperation in these areas, including the establishment of a dialogue mechanism at the government and private levels and its operation.
The Program for Deepening the Trade and Economic Relationship between Japan and Russia, which was signed in September 2000 and stipulated a basic direction in cooperation in trade and economic areas plays the largest role in the development of trade and economic relations between both sides. In addition, the activities of Japan-Russia Inter-governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs have contributed to the development of both sides' economic relations and the resolution of concerns.
At the same time, exchange between private-sector business groups is being steadily implemented on the private-sector level, in particular with the regular convening of the Japan-Russian Federation Joint Economic Committee. In addition, in June 2001 the Nippon Keidanren (then Keidanren, the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations) dispatched a mission to Russia.
The Russian side has welcomed the two-step loan in a new format bank loan that does not require the governmental guarantee of the Government of the Russian Federation that was initiated in March 2002 between the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Bank for Foreign Trade of Russia, and the relaxation measures in trade insurance underwriting conditions for the Russian Federation that have been taken by Japan.
The technical and knowledge assistance provided by the Japanese side towards the promotion of reforms in the Russian Federation by such organizations as the Japan Centers, the Training Centers for Small and Medium Enterprises that was created in the Russian Far East region by the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Central-Eastern Europe, and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and others, has promoted the transition to market economy in the Russian Federation. The Japan Centers that have been established in seven places in the Russian Federation have approximately 18,000 persons to date participating in various courses and approximately 2,200 persons to date have visited Japan for training.
Cooperation has developed in the energy sector. Japan-Russia energy consultations have been convened between governments and feasibility studies have been implemented to find areas for joint implementation projects based on the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, corporations on both sides are actively participating in international projects, namely the Sakhalin II Project that has already begun the production of crude oil, and the Sakhalin I Project which is advancing preparations towards the initiation of oil production. In addition, feasibility studies were implemented by the private sector into the establishment of a gas pipeline between Sakhalin and Japan, and a conclusion was reached to the effect that based on the results of the studies, technically and commercially such a gas pipeline project would be viable.
In addition to the convening of the Japan-Russian Joint Committee on Environmental Conservation, cooperation in various international efforts between Japan and the Russian Federation has developed in regard to global environmental issues, including climate change issues.
Based on the various agreements between the two sides, mutually beneficial cooperation has been undertaken in the area of the fishing industry. In addition since January 2002, focused Japan-Russian Federation consultations have taken place concerning illegal fishing and trade in marine products and this represents important results from the perspective of protection of marine resources and maintenance of order in the fishing industry.
Cooperation has been implemented within the framework of the Japan-Russia Science and Technology Cooperation Committee and the Japan-Russia Joint Committee on Cooperation in Outer Space. In addition, science and technology exchange on the private-sector level has been implemented, including within the framework of the Forum Japan-Russia: Advance of Science and Technology. Private-sector cooperation is progressing in the area of outer space.
Negotiations on a new aviation agreement have been carried on. In addition, cooperation has progressed in the aviation field through consultations between the aviation authorities of Japan and the Russian Federation.
In July 2002 the Japan-Russia Far East Tourism Cooperation Promotion Conference was held, and interest in tourism has risen in the private sector.
With the objective of further developing trade and economic relations, the following actions will be taken in order to steadily implement the Program for Deepening the Trade and Economic Relationship between Japan and Russia.
(Promotion of Trade and Investment)
Both countries, aiming to review bilateral trade and economic issues more broadly will further intensify the activities of the Japan-Russia Inter-governmental Committee on Trade and Economic Affairs as well as the Subcommittee on Trade and Investment and the Far East Subcommittee.
Both sides will support the expansion of bilateral trade and investment. The Russian Federation will continue to make efforts to improve its investment environment. Japan, pointing out steady economic growth in the Russian Federation will make efforts to provide information to the private sector concerning the state of progress of economic reforms in the Russian Federation, through the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Central-Eastern Europe and JETRO, etc.
Both sides will intensify study work regarding the early establishment of a Japan-Russia Trade and Investment Promotion Organization.
Both sides will examine the possibilities of further expanding the flexible structure in regard to financing for joint projects, including loans guaranteed by banks or companies concerned with such projects.
Both sides will further encourage the development of economic exchange on the private-sector level towards the increase of the bilateral trade volume in goods and services, including the active mutual dispatch of missions from private sector economic circles.
Both sides will mutually support the holding of exhibitions, expositions and trade fairs in the areas of trade and economy and science and technology.
(Integration of the Russian Federation into the International Economic System)
Both sides will cooperate for the accession of the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Japan has expressed its support for the accession to the WTO of the Russian Federation and based on the needs of the Russian side, Japan will study the possibilities of knowledge and experience transfer that will be required for the Russian Federation's accession to the WTO as a part of technical and intellectual assistance. The Russian Federation will continue to undertake the necessary reforms in order to ensure that its domestic legal system and its implementation are in conformity with WTO standards and rules.
(Technical and Intellectual Assistance for the Russian Federation)
Both countries will cooperate in case of necessity in order that Japan can efficiently implement technical and intellectual assistance to the Russian Federation through the Japan Centers, and the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Central-Eastern Europe, etc., with the aim of developing market economy in the Russian Federation and enhancing bilateral trade and economic relations. Japan has confirmed its intention to advance technical and intellectual assistance to the Russian Federation through the Japan Centers and the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Central-Eastern Europe, etc. Both sides will consult concerning the policies for future technical and intellectual assistance projects through the Japan Centers. In the implementation of technical assistance, Japan will pay attention to priority areas in economic policy that the Government of the Russian Federation is advancing, including the promotion of small and medium enterprises.
Both sides will accelerate their work towards the prompt signing of a new memorandum on activities of the Japan Centers, which will stipulate their functions including the promotion of bilateral trade and economic exchange.
Both sides will enhance cooperation in the implementation of the Business Manager Training Program and the Civil Servant Training Program.
Both sides will intensify review work into the formulation of a document concerning cooperation in the energy sector that will define a direction for the further strengthening of cooperation in this sector.
Both sides share the recognition that the realization of a project in the Russian Far East and the Siberian region to develop energy resources and construct a pipeline for transportation of such resources would be of mutual benefit from an economic perspective and would make a large contribution to the development of those regions, and would contribute to the improvement of the stability of the international energy market and the energy security of the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole, and will develop cooperation in these areas in the Russian Far East and the Siberian region. In relation to this, both sides will make reviews at the governmental and private-sector levels on the advancement of specific cooperation in the realization of an energy transportation, and both sides support the development of cooperation among corporations from both sides in the oil and gas field development sector in the Russian Far East and the Siberian region in accordance with the development of this project.
Both sides, while giving due consideration to the natural environment will continue to make efforts for the development of environmental infrastructure in order to smoothly implement the development of the Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II Projects and related agreements on sharing production.
Both sides will utilize frameworks such as the Japan-Russia Energy Consultations and will continue to review the possibilities for specific cooperation concerning joint implementation for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Both sides will continue to exchange opinions on the expansion of energy cooperation in the Japan-Russia Energy Consultations.
Both sides will also continue to hold Japan-Russia Nuclear Consultations in the future.
Both sides will continue to cooperate in research concerning the peaceful use of nuclear power in the area of fast-breeder reactors, etc.
Both sides will intensify activities in the Japan-Russia Joint Committee on Environmental Conservation and will steadily implement Japan-Russia Environmental Conservation Cooperation Projects within the framework of the same committee.
Both sides confirm the importance of appropriately tackling the issue of global warming and will enhance efforts toward the creation of a common rule in which all countries will participate. The Russian side will advance the preparatory process towards ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
Both sides will continue to cooperate in the Japan-Russia Joint Training for Oil Spill Prevention and the Northwest Pacific Action Program (NOWPAP) in order to enhance the system for the prevention of pollution in the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Both sides will continue to cooperate in the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET).
(Preservation and Utilization of Biological Resources)
Both sides will develop mutually beneficial bilateral cooperative relations in the area of the fishing industry. In addition, both countries will actively cooperate with regard to the activities of the Japan-Russia Fishery Claims Regulation.
Both sides will advance cooperation in the area of sustainable forestry management, including the issue of the prevention of illegal logging, through their cooperation in the Asian Forest Partnership (AFP) and the other organizations in which both sides participate.
(Science and Technology)
Both sides will deepen dialogue within the framework of the Japan-Russia Science and Technology Cooperation Committee and will steadily implement the Japan-Russia Science and Technology Cooperation Project. At the same time, in addition to supporting the development of science and technology cooperation at the private-sector level, both sides will continue to review the issue of the participation of private-sector observers in the Japan-Russia Science and Technology Cooperation Committee.
Both sides will encourage the development of IT cooperation at the private-sector level.
Both sides will continue to review the implementation methods and form of cooperation concerning marine scientific research.
Both sides will collaborate closely and cooperate in international consultations that take place with the aim of making the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Plan a success.
Both sides will continue to review the possibilities for expanding bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Japan-Russia Joint Committee on Cooperation in Space. In addition, both sides will continue to review international cooperation in the area of space development and the utilization of the international space station.
(Transport and Tourism)
Both sides will engage actively in negotiations towards the prompt conclusion of a new aviation agreement.
Both sides will continue to exchange opinions concerning the management of the Trans-Siberian railway, including the convening of a private-sector experts' meeting.
Both sides will support the initiative towards the promotion of tourism in the private sector.
(Regional Level Cooperation)
Both sides will further intensify the activities of the Far East Subcommittee in order to enhance economic relations between Japan and the Russian Far East and the Siberian region.
In addition, considering the geographic proximity of Japan to the Russian oblast of Sakhalin, both sides will review the modalities for economic exchange between Japan and Sakhalin.
Both sides encourage the dispatch of Far East micro business promotion missions, and will cooperate towards the further development of private-sector economic exchange in the Russian Far East.
Both sides will provide the necessary assistance for the development of economic relations between the prefectures of Japan and the regional entities of the Russian Federation.
5. Development of Relations in Defense and Security: For the peace and safety of both countries
The efforts of both sides have resulted in the remarkable expansion of relations in various areas between defense and security authorities and this has been a most important factor in enhancing mutual trust.
In areas of defense exchanges, in addition to mutual visits by the Minister of State for Defense of Japan and the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation on two occasions, other mutual high-level exchanges of defense officials continue to be made and consultations between defense authorities and mutual visits by naval vessels have been steadily implemented. In addition, the practice has been established of implementing joint exercises and goodwill exercises with regard to search and rescue operations.
Between the security authorities of Japan and the Russian Federation, cooperation has advanced in such areas as the issues of international terrorism, the illicit trade in narcotics and firearms, international organized crime including smuggling, and illegal fishing. In recent years, bilateral and multilateral consultations among maritime security authorities have been convened regularly.
Both sides will actively implement the following cooperation into the future:
Both sides will steadily advance bilateral defense exchanges through the continued implementation of regular high-level exchanges of defense officials including mutual visits by the Minister of State for Defense of Japan and the Defense Minister of Russia, consultations between defense authorities, joint exercises and goodwill exercises for search and rescue operations on the occasion of mutual visits by naval vessels, and annual consultations based on the Agreement Between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Prevention of Incidents at Sea beyond the Territorial Waters and Air Space Above Them signed in October 1993, and exchanges among research and education institutions.
There will soon be another visit to the Russian Federation by the Minister of State for Defense of Japan. On this occasion an exchange of opinions will take place with the aim of strengthening bilateral cooperation and trust in defense areas.
Both sides will regularly convene the joint working group meetings concerning the development of defense exchanges in which representatives of the Japan Defense Agency and Russian Defense Ministry take part and enhancement of confidence-building measures. On the occasion of such meetings review will also be conducted into the improvement of the foundations for cooperation in defense areas.
(Cooperation Between Security Authorities)
Both sides will actively cooperate in order to counter the threat posed by international terrorism and international organized crime, including the illicit trade in narcotics, firearms and stolen vehicles.
Both sides will promote cooperation towards the prevention of illegal fishing and smuggling of marine products. In such cooperation both countries recognize the effectiveness of working-level contacts among relevant authorities in order to prevent illegal fishing and smuggling.
Both sides will regularly convene security authority conferences.
Both sides will promote cooperation between maritime security authorities
Both sides will improve the exchange of information concerning crime control.
6. Advancements in Cultural and Interpersonal Exchange: For the Deepening of Mutual Understanding and Friendship
Both sides, with the understanding that the expansion of cultural and interpersonal exchanges promotes bilateral relations and strengthening of mutual friendship and mutual understanding between the people of the two countries, have steadily advanced exchanges in the area of cultural and interpersonal exchange, which has its basis the high level of mutual interest held by the people of these two countries in each others' cultures.
The Agreement on Cultural Exchange between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Russian Federation went into effect in July 2002.
Through youth exchange activities, 1396 people from the two countries have visited each other's countries and deepened the mutual understanding between Japan and Russia.
The Japanese-Russian Forum: Japanese-Russian Relations in the Asia-Pacific Region in the Era of Globalization was held in May 2001 and May 2002.
In October 2002 the Consultation on Consulate Issues between Japan and the Russian Federation was held, which contributed to the further expansion of exchange between the people of the two countries.
Both sides will conduct the following with the aim of deepening bilateral relations as the basis of strengthening mutual friendship and mutual understanding between the people of the two countries.
Both sides will advance cooperation under the Japan-Russia Cultural Exchange Agreement. The First Japan-Russia Cultural Exchange Committee that was established under this Agreement will be held at an early date.
Both sides will strengthen cooperation toward the success of the "Japanese Culture Festival in Russia 2003" that will introduce Japanese traditions and culture to the people of Russia and a similar event by the Russian Federation that will introduce Russia's cultural heritage to the people of Japan.
Both sides will encourage the advancement of exchanges between social organizations including students, youth organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), while making efforts to enhance youth exchange.
Both sides will encourage the implementation of activities such as joint fora, seminars and other activities through academic research institutions. In particular, both sides will cooperate on issues concerning the Third Japanese-Russian Forum: Japanese-Russian Relations in the Asia-Pacific Region in the Era of Globalization to be held by the National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA) of Japan and the Center of Strategic Studies of the Russian Federation.
Both sides will support exchanges between Japan-Russia Friendship Forum 21 and the Russian Committee of XXI Century.
Both sides will take measures for the promotion of translation and publishing projects and the creation of public relations material to introduce each others' countries to the people of both countries, and its dissemination.
Both sides will seek possibilities for the further expansion of cultural exchange between the two countries, including exchanges between art museums, museums and libraries.
Both sides will advance exchanges in the area of sports.
Both sides will make efforts to advance exchanges at the regional level including consideration of issues concerning the enhancement of exchanges between the prefectures of Japan and the oblasts of the Russian Federation and between cities of the two countries.
Both sides will undertake a review with their consular authorities on the possibility of simplifying procedures for issuing visas with the aim of developing an environment for the widest possible range of exchanges between the people of the two countries.
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In the future, the foreign ministries of Japan and the Russian Federation will regularly confirm the progress of cooperation based on this Action Plan.
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