JAPAN UK JOINT STATEMENT: A Framework for the Future

January 9, 2007

HE Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan and the Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland held their first summit meeting in London on 9th January, 2007, during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's first official visit to the UK.

The two Prime Ministers reviewed the state of the bilateral relationship between Japan and the UK, exchanged views on key issues of international concern and decided to establish a framework for enhanced co-operation between the two countries. At the conclusion of the visit, the two Prime Ministers released the following joint statement.

We, the two Prime Ministers of Japan and the United Kingdom, confirm that the relationship between Japan and the UK is the best it has ever been. It is a wide-ranging relationship spanning diverse areas of activity. It derives its strength above all from our shared values and international interests. Our two countries are natural strategic partners, sharing a common global vision of peace, security and international prosperity based on sustainable development and respect for human rights and the rule of law. We have shared interests in combating key global challenges, including in the areas of international security, counter-proliferation, climate change and poverty reduction. We have a shared desire to harness the power of innovation to promote prosperous and stable global conditions.

The next two years offer a particular opportunity to develop further our bilateral relations, as we look ahead to Japan's Presidency of the G8 in 2008. Japan and the UK are determined to continue working together over this period and beyond towards achieving a peaceful and prosperous world.

Accordingly, we have decided to work towards achieving a set of objectives in the areas of international security, climate change, international development and science, technology and innovation. We commit ourselves to meet annually to review progress against these objectives and in the wider relationship. We will encourage our principal ministers and officials to establish frameworks for regular exchanges to support this process and to deepen relationships in other areas of the bilateral relationship. We further recognise that intellectual, cultural and people-to-people exchanges including tourism are important in promoting mutual understanding and as the basis for this joint cooperation. In this regard, we continue to support "the Japan-UK 21st Century Group", a useful annual forum consisting of eminent persons in diverse fields. We express our support for the further development of such activity and welcome plans for a UK year of science, art and design in Japan in 2008.

Promoting International Security

While recalling the great success achieved by the Japan-UK cooperation in the Governorate of Al-Muthanna in southern Iraq, Japan and the UK, working closely together, can make a major contribution towards tackling the most serious threats to global security.

  • Japan and the UK will continue to work together closely to tackle international challenges such as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process and human rights abuses in North Korea. In this regard, we urge North Korea to take steps towards the expeditious resolution of the abduction issue and Prime Minister Abe appreciates the UK's continued support on this issue.
  • Japan and the UK will work together to defeat international terrorism. We have decided to strengthen Japan-UK counter-terrorism consultations to broaden the scope of this vital work.
  • Proliferation of WMD, their means of delivery and related materials represent a major challenge to international peace and security. We reaffirm the importance of strengthening and maintaining the international disarmament and non proliferation regime based on the NPT, and in this regard, we intend to further cooperate in the NPT review process and PSI. We intend to cooperate more closely to strengthen counter-proliferation efforts, including through enhanced consultation and co-ordination over North Korea and Iran. We express our grave concern over the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula including the missile launch and the proclaimed nuclear test and urge North Korea to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1718, especially to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes. We also express our deep concern at Iran's failure to take the steps required by the IAEA Board and the UN Security Council, including a full suspension of all uranium enrichment related and reprocessing activities. We call on Iran to take the positive path being offered by the international community as in UNSCR 1737 for a peaceful and diplomatic settlement of the issues.
  • Japan and the UK will increase cooperation in the field of peace support operations. The UK welcomes Japan's efforts to establish closer links with NATO.
  • We are determined to proceed with UN reform. In particular, we will continue to work together to achieve early reform of the United Nations Security Council. The UK will continue to support Japan's bid for Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council. We will work closely with each other on issues discussed in the Council.
  • Japan and the UK will work together to keep up the momentum of discussions on the ATT (Arms Trade Treaty) initiative in the framework of the United Nations.

Tackling Climate Change

We need urgently to accelerate progress towards a low carbon society. Climate change is a threat that requires an urgent global response. Japan's Presidency of the G8 in 2008 offers a special opportunity for us to redouble co-operation in this area.

  • Japan and the UK will work together on an international framework to ensure that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are stabilised at a level consistent with avoiding dangerous climate change. Such a framework should be equitably designed so as to trigger a faster shift towards a low carbon society in all major emitters of greenhouse gases, compatible with sustainable development.
  • Japan looks forward to receiving under its 2008 G8 Presidency the report from the Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development. We will work together to ensure that this process results in a step-change in progress, building alignment between the urgent requirements to respond to climate change and energy security.
  • Japan and the UK will continue to work together on joint research on science and technology for a low carbon society.

International Development

Japan and the UK both recognise the importance of international development assistance in combating global poverty and promoting international and human security. Both acknowledge that the impact of climate change will be felt first and hardest by the poorest.

  • As Japan and the UK are both major bilateral donor countries with considerable global influence, jointly they have the opportunity to have a major impact on achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Japan and the UK will work together to increase the complementarity of their ODA policies and to increase bilateral and multilateral aid effectiveness.
  • Japan and the UK are both committed to realising their international development assistance pledges made at the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005, including commitments to Africa's development and the Millennium Development Goals. The UK appreciates Japan's TICAD initiative and will work with Japan to support the success of TICAD IV in 2008.

Science, Technology and Innovation

Japan and the UK recognise the importance of science, technology and innovation to economic competitiveness and are committed to continue working together to use science and technology to address the most pressing challenges facing the world today. In addressing these challenges, they also recognise the importance of providing a first-class science education to raise the interest of young people in science and to foster the next generation of scientists, and of engaging with the public in tackling pressing issues such as climate change.

  • Japan and the UK will harness their joint efforts in science, technology and innovation. Japan and the UK will continue to work together to further strengthen their research relationship in the fields of climate change, sustainable energy technologies and life sciences. The UK-Japan Joint Committee on Co-operation in Science and Technology will review progress at its next meeting.
  • Japan and the UK will work together to share best practice on knowledge transfer, particularly between academic institutions and the private sector.

These activities, taken together, will ensure that the relationship between Japan and the United Kingdom continues to develop in mutually beneficial directions, alongside our firm belief that these will contribute to strengthen the multilateral system to meet global challenges.

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