Visit to Japan by Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Kasjyanov
Summary of Results
December 16, 2003
Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Kasjyanov paid an official visit to Japan from December 15 to December 17. Chairman Kasjyanov held talks with Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi on December 15, and with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Shoichi Nakagawa and representatives of Japanese business circle on December 16. The results of these talks are summarized below. Three documents were issued after the talks with Prime Minister Koizumi on December 16: Joint Statement on the visit to Japan by Chairman Kasjyanov; Memorandum on the establishment of the Japan-Russia Trade and Investment Promotion Organization; and Joint Press Release on the strengthening of measures against illegal fishing and export of marine products.
Both sides confirmed their common recognition that Japan-Russia relations have been progressing through steady implementation of the Japan-Russia Action Plan with achieving more results than expected in wide range of areas since January 2003, and that as the result of activization of exchanges and contacts between the two countries in a variety of areas, sense of intimacy between two peoples has been enhanced.
2. The International Situation
(1) The Iraq issue
Chairman Kasjyanov, on behalf of the Russian government, expressed his deepest condolences on the death of the two Japanese diplomats in Iraq and stated that the capture of former president Saddam Hussein would lead to a new development of situation in Iraq, that the Iraq would try criminals by itself and that the Iraqi people would decide their own fate.
In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan had recently decided to dispatch its Self Defense Forces (SDF) to Iraq with an aim to promote reconstruction and humanitarian assistance, that the SDF would be dispatched for reconstruction assistance and therefore would not engage in the use of force. He also stated that it was desirable for the international community to unite together to form a government by the people of Iraq for the people of Iraq as soon as possible and for as many members of the United Nations (UN) as possible to work on the reconstruction of Iraq, and expressed his hope that Russia would cooperate in the reconstruction of Iraq as well. Prime Minister Koizumi asked Chairman Kasjyanov to convey his message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(2) North Korea
Chairman Kasjyanov stated that he was satisfied with the fact that Japan and Russia are actively cooperating in the six-party talks on North Korean issues, and he strongly expected that though the six-party talks were not progressing as quickly as both Japan and Russia hoped, progress in these talks would lead to the realization of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan would cooperate with Russia to achieve peace and security on the Korean Peninsula through the six-party talks.
3. Political Agenda
(1) Japan-Russia Eminent Persons' Council
Prime Minister Koizumi stated that agreement had recently been reached with President Putin on the establishment of a Japan-Russia Eminent Persons' Council, and that it had been decided that former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori would become the chair for the Japanese side and it was understood that Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov would be the chair for the Russian side. He also stated that he wanted eminent persons to exchange their opinions in a small group on the future of Japan-Russia relations and discussions in the council to be referred to in preparations for a visit to Japan by President Putin.
(2)Foreign Minister Kawaguchi's Visit to Russia
During the talks on December 15, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that she wished to visit Russia in the first half of 2004 to extensively discuss with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov the issue of the conclusion of a peace treaty.
In response, Chairman Kasjyanov stated to Prime Minister Koizumi during their talks on December 16 that the Japan-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Issues had been held regularly between Vice-Chairman of the Russian Government Viktor Khristenko and Foreign Minister Kawaguchi, that he expected the Commission to continue holding active discussions on economic issues, and that he would anticipate a visit to Russia by Foreign Minister Kawaguchi sometime in the first half of 2004, during which extensive discussions would be held on the issue of conclusion of a peace treaty.
4. Issue of Conclusion of a Peace Treaty
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the conclusion of a peace treaty was essential in achieving a breakthrough in Japan-Russia relations and that a peace treaty had to be concluded as soon as possible solving the issue of the attribution of the Four Northern Islands. Prime Minister Koizumi also stated that, it was important to develop an environment toward the conclusion of a peace treaty in both Japan and Russia, developing the relations between the two countries in a wide range of areas through steady implementation of the Japan-Russia Action Plan.
In response, regarding the conclusion of a peace treaty, Chairman Kasjyanov stated that Russia would adhere to the Russian stance established under the Japan-Russia Action Plan and Russia was prepared to accelerate negotiations on the conclusion of a peace treaty, seeking to find a solution acceptable to both sides in line with the approach referred to in the Japan-Russia Action Plan.
(2) During the talks on December 15, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that the fact that no peace treaty had been concluded between Japan and Russia cast a dark psychological shadow over Japanese business people, and therefore negotiations to conclude a peace treaty needed to be further accelerated. In order to conclude a peace treaty at an early stage, she stated that it was important to solve the issue of the attribution of the Four Northern Islands based on the various agreements reached so far. In connection with this, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi asked for efforts on the Russian side in establishing four new entry points for free visit and expanding the range of people who are qualified to visit those islands, and the early completion of procedures for the implementation of assistance to the residents of the four islands.
5. Economic Cooperation
(1) Pacific Pipeline
(a) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the Pacific Pipeline project must be done in such a way as to benefit both Japan and Russia, and emphasized the importance of the pipeline connecting to Nakhodka, the Pacific coast, as it would contribute to the development of East Siberia.
In response, Chairman Kasiyanov stated that although currently there was no oil production in East Siberia, "Russia's Energy Strategy Until 2020" indicated the necessity of developing energy resources in East Siberia and the Far Eastern regions, and furthermore that the Energy Strategy referred to a pipeline leading to the Pacific Ocean. He expected that the project would lead to the development of East Siberia, and the value of the East Siberia region would substantially increase upon completion of the pipeline, and stated that in order to realize the project it was necessary to accurately grasp the recoverable reserves of oil in the region.
(b) During the talks on December 15, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi emphasized the significance of the project, and Chairman Kasjyanov responded that there were enormous natural resources in East Siberia and the Far Eastern regions and that their development was therefore important, but since demand within Russia was insufficient it was necessary to call on the cooperation of neighboring countries including Japan.
(c) Joint Statement includes the following passage: "Japan and Russia confirm their common understanding that progress in cooperation concerning the development and transportation of the energy resources of East Siberia and the Far Eastern regions, in particular the construction of an oil pipeline to the Pacific coast of the Russian Federation, is important from the standpoints of the development of East Siberia and the Far Eastern regions of the Russian Federation, the effective use of energy resources in those regions, and the energy stability of the Asia-Pacific region as a whole." The Pacific coast was clearly specified by name and at the same time the significance of the Pacific Pipeline was mentioned as a common recognition shared by the Japanese and Russian governments.
(2) Trade and Investment Promotion Organization
Prime Minister Koizumi stated that trade and investment between Japan and Russia was expanding and that the establishment of the Trade and Investment Promotion Organization was timely. He expected that business transactions including those of small and medium-sized enterprises would further increase.
In response, Chairman Kasjyanov stated that trade between Japan and Russia was increasing with total trade for 2003 reaching more than US$5 billion, an increase of about 35%, but that Japan-Russia economic relations remained at a low level and the potential between Japan and Russia had not been sufficiently realized. Thus, he expected that the activities of the Organization could help to realize that potential.
(3) Issue concerning illegal fishing and export of marine products
Prime Minister Koizumi stated that smuggling of marine products, such as crabs and sea urchins by Russian ships was continuing unabated, and that cooperation was necessary from the standpoint of preserving natural resources and important for the development of friendly relations between the two countries, and he welcomed the issuance of the joint press release.
In response, Chairman Kasjyanov stated that cooperation in the area of illegal fishing and export had already produced results and welcomed the clear expression of political will by both countries through the issuance of the joint press release. He stated that it was important to move forward by keeping closer contacts between the relevant authorities and he intended to issue instructions on the matter to the relevant ministries and agencies.
(4) The Kyoto Protocol
(a) During the talks on December 15, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that Russia held the key for the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol and that early conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol was in the national interest of Russia, and urged for Russia's early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
(b) In the talks on December 16, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol was important.
(5) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
Prime Minister Koizumi stated that on the occasion of the ministerial meeting on December 20 he would like to ask Russian side to support Japan's bid for the Rokkasho-mura in Aomori Prefecture as a candidate site for ITER. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi also conveyed this message during her talks with Chairman Kasjyanov on December 15.
In response, Chairman Kasjyanov stated that Russia also considered ITER to be important, as evidenced by the fact that he was accompanied on this visit to Japan by Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev, and he intended to convey to President Putin after returning to Russia the messages received during his visit to Japan.
(6) Accession of Russia to the World Trade Organization (WTO)
(a) During the talks on December 15, Chairman Kasiyanov stated that he was grateful for the political support of Japan regarding the accession of Russia to the WTO. He stated that although a few unresolved points remained, Russia intended to continue cooperation, and he asked for the cooperation of Japan.
In response, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that the positive response by Russia to opening its markets was important and that Japan would like to cooperate closely.
(b) During the talks on December 16, Chairman Kasjyanov stated that he was grateful for Japan's support regarding the accession of Russia to the WTO and that he intended to resolve the remaining issues as soon as possible.
(7) Cooperation for Denuclearization
(a) During the talks on December 15, Chairman Kasjyanov stated that Japan-Russia cooperation for denuclearization was progressing under the umbrella of the G8 Global Partnership, and he welcomed the commencement of the dismantling of a Victor III-class nuclear submarine, and highly evaluated Japan's decision in this regard. Chairman Kasjyanov also stated that once Japan makes a political decision, the work advanced quickly and he hoped cooperation in this field to be continued in the future.
In response, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that cooperation for denuclearization was important as an issue for Japan itself, and that simplification of the procedures concerning access to the project site is needed in order to be implemented smoothly and steadily.
(b) During the talks on December 16, Chairman Kasjyanov expressed his gratitude for Japanese cooperation in this area and at the same time expressed his hope towards the continuation of cooperation.
(8)Cooperation in the Russian Program on training managers and executives for enterprises.
With regard to a letter sent by Chairman Kasjyanov requesting Japan's continued cooperation in the Russian Program on training managers and executives for enterprises, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that Japan was ready to continue such cooperation through the Japan Centers.
6. Other Meetings
(1) In addition, Chairman Kasjyanov held talks with Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan Yohei Kono, had a breakfast meeting with Chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations Hiroshi Okuda, talks with Chairman of Japan-Russia Economic Cooperation Committee Kunio Anzai and other business people in energy companies, and a lunch meeting hosted by President of the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Central-Eastern Europe Tasuku Takagaki.
(2) Chairman Kasjyanov conveyed his impression to Prime Minister Koizumi that through his talks with Japanese business people, he was able to feel that interest in Russia of the Japanese business circle was increasing.
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