Visit by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Latin America
(Overview, Evaluation and Specific Results)
I. Overview and Evaluation
(1) Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the Federative Republic of Brazil (Sao Paulo and Brasilia) and the United Mexican States from September 13 to 18, 2004. It is eight years since a Japanese prime minister has visited Latin America, the previous visit made by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.
(2) During his visit to Brazil, Prime Minister Koizumi delivered an address on Japan's policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean. In the address, Prime Minister Koizumi proposed a Vision for a New Japan-Latin America and Caribbean Partnership (the Koizumi Vision), which calls for the creation of new, future-oriented relationship between Japan and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the first-ever summit meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, the two leaders decided that they would deepen cooperation on the vitalization of bilateral economic relations and on international issues such as the reform of the Security Council of the United Nations. In addition, both leaders issued the Joint Communique between Japan and the Federative Republic of Brazil, in which the results of Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to Brazil were compiled.
(3) In Mexico, Prime Minister Koizumi, together with President Vicente Fox signed the Agreement between Japan and the United Mexican States for the Strengthening of the Economic Partnership, and issued a Joint Statement calling on the people of both countries to enhance their trade and investment relations by utilizing the agreement. Both leaders shared the view to further developing Japan-Mexico economic relations through the early entry into force and effective implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement. They also exchanged opinions on deepening the "Strategic Partnership" in a broad range of areas including cultural exchange, assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean, and United Nations reform.
II. Specific Results
(1) Cooperation = Revitalization of Economic Relations and Measures to Tackle International Issues
- Prime Minister Koizumi extended an invitation to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil to make an official visit to Japan. President Lula da Silva accepted the invitation.
- The two leaders decided that efforts would be made jointly by the public and private sectors in both countries to explore ways to revitalize bilateral economic relations between Japan and Brazil and also between Japan and MERCOSUR. It was decided that in particular, cooperation would be advanced in areas such as resource development and infrastructure development on a regional level.
- More than ten influential business figures from the private sector in Japan timed a visit to Brazil to coincide with Prime Minister Koizumi's visit, thus demonstrating efforts between the public and private sector towards the revitalization of economic relations.
- The two leaders confirmed that the Agreement between Japan and the United Mexican States for the Strengthening of the Economic Partnership would bring Japan-Mexico economic relations even closer while contributing to economic development of both countries, in addition to laying down a firm basis for "Strategic Partnership" between Japan and Mexico.
- The two leaders announced that they expected the people of Japan and Mexico to utilize the EPA effectively. From this perspective, the two leaders welcome the planning of a joint seminar on the EPA by participants from both countries.
- The two leaders announced their expectation that bilateral cooperation stipulated in the EPA would be progress (including areas such as supporting industries, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), environment and tourism).
(B) Tackling International Issues
- United Nations reform: Both leaders announced that with regard to reform of the Security Council, they both recognized the necessity for reform of the Security Council through expanding the membership of the Security Council both in permanent and non-permanent categories, and agreed to mutually support each other's candidacy as permanent members.
- Environment: Prime Minister Koizumi invited Brazil to take part in the 3R Initiative Ministerial Meeting which is scheduled to be held is Japan in 2005.
- The two leaders shared the view, based on the pillar of supporting the Puebla Panama Plan (PPP), to jointly making efforts to support the Central America, the potential of which has been increasing recently while advancing regional integration.
- United Nations reform: The two leaders both recognized the necessity of reforming the Security Council.
- Environment: The two leaders shared the view to cooperating towards the success of the Fourth World Water Forum, which is scheduled to be held in Mexico in 2006 (Japan hosted the Third World Water Forum).
(2) Exchange = Promotion of mutual understanding and exchanges of people
- The two leaders decided that 2008 (the centennial year of Japanese immigration to Brazil) should be commemorated as the Japan-Brazil Exchange Year and that the two countries would take this opportunity to cooperate in developing wide-ranging bilateral relations.
- It was decided to establish a "Japan-Brazil Council for 21st Century" comprised of wise men, which would make proposals for that purpose.
- Prime Minister Koizumi announced that over the next five years, more than 1,000 Brazilian students and young people would be invited to Japan.
- Both leaders recognized the importance of cultural exchange, which forms a foundation for friendship between the two countries, as well as sharing the view to promoting the convening of a Japan-Mexico Cultural Summit to be held between experts of both countries.
- Prime Minister Koizumi stated that given Japan's participation in the 2005 Cervantino International Art Festival and Mexico's participation in EXPO 2005 AICHI, 2005 would be a year that would provide good opportunities to promote mutual understanding between the people of the two countries and that he expected such mutual understanding would be further promoted.
(c) Cooperation and exchange between East Asia and Latin America
- Prime Minister Koizumi announced that Japan would play a leading role in the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), an important forum for the promotion of new relations between East Asia and Latin America. He also announced that Japan would host a FEALAC Foreign Ministers' Conference at an appropriate time in the future.
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