Joint Press Statement
V4+Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting
Hanoi, 25 May 2009
- V4+Japan Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 25 May 2009. The meeting was attended by Mr. Radoslaw Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Miroslav Lajcak, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Mr. Jan Kohout, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and Mr. Laszlo Varkonyi, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary.
- The Ministers welcomed with satisfaction active and fruitful dialogue and cooperation that have been successfully in progress between V4 and Japan since the last Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Hamburg in May 2007, and expressed their intention to continue and enhance V4+Japan dialogue and cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The Ministers also exchanged views on regional and international issues.
- The V4 side highly appreciated Prime Minister Taro Aso's policy speech "A Japan-Europe Partnership to Surmount Global Challenges" in Berlin in May 2009, in which Prime Minister Aso expressed Japan's determination to strengthen cooperation and support for the V4 countries based on the concept of the "Arc of Freedom and Prosperity". The Japanese side welcomed the new initiative of the European Union (EU) to create necessary conditions to accelerate political association and further economic integration between the EU and its Eastern European partner countries under the Eastern Partnership.
V4 + Japan dialogue
- The Ministers welcomed positive developments in recent years within the framework of V4 + Japan dialogue such as the second V4+Japan policy dialogue held in Warsaw in December 2008, and regular consultations between the Director-General of the European Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Ambassadors of the V4 countries in Tokyo.
- The Ministers reiterated their readiness to continue holding ministerial meetings on a biennial basis using such occasions as ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting and confirmed that Political Directors' as well as thematic meetings on the expert level should continue to be held annually in order to bolster political dialogue.
- Recognizing future prospects of cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as trade and investment, development assistance, tourism, climate change, energy efficiency, science and technology as well as culture and education, the Ministers shared the view that strengthening these forms of dialogue could greatly contribute to economic growth and regional cooperation and also boost closer cooperation between the EU and Japan.
V4+Japan cooperation in areas of mutual interest
- The Ministers welcomed with satisfaction recent achievements of V4+Japan cooperation as a follow-up to the Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Hamburg in May 2007, namely:
- V4 + Japan workshop on development assistance in Tokyo in February 2008
- Joint participation of the V4 countries in the World Tourism Congress in Tokyo in September 2008
- V4 + Japan workshop on small and medium-sized enterprises in Tokyo in October 2008
- Seminar "On the way to the Eurozone - the V4 perspective" in Tokyo in November 2008
- The Ministers confirmed their intention to continue cooperation in areas of mutual interest in a mutually beneficial way both in Japan and in the V4 countries. In this regard, the Japanese side proposed to organize a workshop on the environment and climate change, in Tokyo around October 2009, and extended invitation to experts of the V4 countries to attend the workshop. The V4 side highly welcomed the Japanese proposal and expressed its intention to pursue the possibility of utilizing the Green Visegrad initiative as a follow-up to the workshop. The Ministers confirmed their willingness to further strengthen trade and investment cooperation by reiterating support for such initiatives as joint workshops and seminars.
Regional and International Issues
- The Ministers held an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international issues, such as economic and financial crisis, climate change and other environmental issues, United Nations Security Council reform, non-proliferation, Afghanistan/Pakistan, North Korea, EU Eastern Partnership, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The Ministers confirmed the importance of strengthening V4+Japan dialogue in these and other issues of mutual interest.
(Economic and financial crisis)
- Reaffirming the need of the recovery of the world economy, the Ministers welcomed the effort of the international community for the reinforcement of the financial basis of the International Monetary Fund, including the Japanese announcement to lend up to 100 billion US dollars to the IMF at the G20 summit in Washington D.C. in November 2008, and EU's announcement of a loan of 100 billion US dollars immediately prior to the G20 summit in London in April 2009, and expected that these efforts will contribute to the recovery of economic situation in the Central and Eastern Europe. The Ministers highly valued that more than 600 Japanese companies in the V4 countries contribute to strengthening economic ties between Japan and the V4 countries through their maintained operations in spite of current global economic challenges.
In this context, the Ministers decided to pursue the possibility to hold a seminar on global economic and financial issues within the framework of V4+Japan cooperation in the V4 countries and the Japanese side expressed its readiness to dispatch a Japanese expert to the seminar.
The Ministers recognized the importance of realizing the full potential of EU-Japan economic relationship to strengthen the basis of further cooperation in economic relationship between V4 and Japan in the current critical economic situation. To that end, the Ministers affirmed their commitment to promote the joint work between the EU and Japan on a few specific non-tariff issues which are expected to bring concrete outcomes, in a mutually beneficial way and in a short period, as underlined by the leaders of the EU and Japan at the 18th EU-Japan Summit in Prague in May 2009.
- The Ministers recognized the need to cooperate, at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen 2009, in establishing an effective international framework beyond 2012 in which all major economies participate in a responsible way. The Ministers jointly underlined the urgency of substantially reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in a timely way in order to achieve the ultimate objective of stabilizing GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Ministers also shared the view that the respective emission reduction commitments for each developed country should be set in a fair manner ensuring comparability of efforts based on such elements as past efforts and analysis on mitigation potential including sectoral analysis, and that major developing countries should take meaningful nationally appropriate mitigation actions in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
Regarding cooperation through the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) for environmental affairs in Central and Eastern Europe, the Ministers appreciated the ongoing cooperation between Japan and the REC and welcomed its further development. The Ministers expressed their willingness to continue supporting the activity of the REC having in mind the common efforts in the field of climate change.
(United Nations Security Council reform)
- Sharing the importance of strengthening the United Nations (UN) and equipping it to fulfil its responsibilities, Ministers reaffirmed their continuing support for the ongoing reform process of the UN, notably the reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) including its enlargement in both categories and improvement of its working methods. In this context, the Ministers expressed their will to actively cooperate in the intergovernmental negotiations to achieve the shared objective to realize the reform.
- The Ministers reaffirmed their determination to cooperate in the area of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means and stressed that such initiatives as Proliferation Security Initiative, which was inaugurated in Cracow in May 2003, could be a useful tool to complement the present non-proliferation regime.
- The Ministers reaffirmed their view that support for Afghanistan and Pakistan is one of the priority issues of the international community, welcoming the successful outcomes of the international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague on 31 March 2009 and Friends of Democratic Pakistan Ministerial Meeting/ the Pakistan Donors Conference in Tokyo on 17 April 2009. The Ministers welcomed concrete cooperation between Japan and Hungary through the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Baghlan, and expressed expectation that such cooperation between Japan and the V4 countries could be continued. In view of the ongoing military operations in Pakistan the Ministers emphasized the urgent need for the international community to extend necessary assistance to people displaced by the fighting.
- The Ministers condemned the second nuclear test proclaimed by North Korea on 25 May 2009, which constitutes a grave challenge to the NPT and clearly violates the relevant UNSCRs, in particular the UNSCR 1718. While demanding North Korea to give up all nuclear-weapon related activities as it committed within the Six-Party talks, the Ministers acknowledged the importance to take effective responses through the United Nations Security Council. The Ministers also stressed their concern about the humanitarian situation in the North Korea and emphasized the importance of addressing the human rights situation including the abduction issue.
(EU Eastern Partnership)
- The Ministers further emphasized their commitment to cooperate in supporting democratic institutions and market economies, inter alia, in Eastern Europe. The Ministers shared the view that such initiatives as Eastern Partnership of the EU could be used to attain this aim.
- The Ministers expressed their hope that the Government of Myanmar will tackle the country's severe political, structural and economic problems and foster a peaceful transition to a legitimate, democratic and civilian government without delay. The Ministers pointed out that elections planned in 2010 could be welcomed by the international community if based on an inclusive dialogue among all stakeholders in Myanmar. In this context, the Ministers called on Myanmar to release political prisoners and detainees, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whom the Ministers are deeply concerned about recent charges brought against. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the good offices role of the United Nations Secretary-General and his planned visit and encouraged the Government of Myanmar to encourage all stakeholders in an inclusive process in order to achieve national reconciliation and economic and social development. The Ministers confirmed that they are prepared to respond positively to substantive political progress undertaken by Myanmar.
- The Ministers expressed the importance of assistance to and resettlement of a large number of internally displaced persons, and swift progress on the political process for national reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The Ministers called on the Government of Sri Lanka to address these challenges.
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