Japan and Central America: Friends United Towards the Future
We, the Prime Minister of Japan, and the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the countries that constitute the Central American Integration System (Sistema de Integración Centroamericana (SICA)), the Republic of Costa Rica, the Republic of El Salvador, the Republic of Guatemala, the Republic of Honduras, the Republic of Nicaragua and the Republic of Panama, and the Vice-President of the Dominican Republic, an associate member of SICA (here in after "the SICA countries"), gathered in Tokyo, Japan, on the occasion of the Japan-Central America Year 2005 to hold the Second Japan-Central America Summit, at which, from the stance that sharing our interests of concern and being united will take relations between Japan and Central America to a new level, and under the firm intention to further enhance relations of friendship, exchange and cooperation,
Recognizing that Central America holds a geographical and strategic position as a natural bridge linking North and South America, and that the stability and development of the region holds particular importance for Latin America and the international community,
Welcoming the enhanced efforts being made by the countries of Central America towards the consolidation of peace and democracy and the improvement of living standards for their citizens, and the active assistance being provided by Japan in support of such efforts, during the course of which the development of relations of friendship and cooperation between Japan and the SICA countries have progressed steadily,
Given that the SICA countries, which as an integrated whole consist of over 47 million people, have become a major region of Latin America, and have heightened their position in the international community; emphasizing the great potential of the SICA countries, and in addition recognizing that SICA countries will be an even more important partner for Japan and a stepping stone to other major markets,
Aiming to further develop the relationship between Japan and the SICA countries on the basis of the friendly, cooperative relations created to date, and maintaining a strategic perspective,
We hereby announce the following guidelines as an "Investment in the Future."
1. Dialogue and Cooperation
Japan and the SICA countries share common basic values of democracy, peace, freedom, development, human rights and market economy. In this context, we hereby emphasize the necessity to cooperate on global challenges, including United Nations reform, trade, investment, environment and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Moreover, we hereby announce our intention to fulfill a more active role regarding issues of global peace and safety by deepening policy dialogue through the Japan-Central America Forum and other multilateral fora.
We emphasize the importance of dialogue between the countries of Asia and the countries of Latin America through the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and positively evaluate the new accession to this forum of countries within the region that have not yet acceded.
2. Consolidation of Peace and Democracy
We reaffirm that strengthening democratic systems, fighting against corruption and securing the safety of citizens are indispensable for consolidating peace and democracy. Japan highly evaluates the efforts being made by the countries of Central America to that end and express that it is prepared to continue to provide cooperation in these areas.
3. Cooperation in the Areas of Economy, Development, Tourism and Disaster Reduction
We welcome the efforts of the SICA countries to promote economic liberalization. Japan reaffirms its support for efforts and initiatives by the SICA countries to address priority issues including poverty reduction, sustainable development and infrastructure development and expansion.
The SICA countries reaffirm their commitment to strengthen regional integration. Japan reaffirms that it is prepared to support the process of Central American integration and to continue to support region-wide projects.
We recognize that the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP) is an important initiative to promote development in the Central American region. Japan reaffirms its intention to support the PPP.
We announce our intention to strengthen economic exchange and commercial relations between Japan and the SICA countries and to promote investment between Japan and the SICA countries. We welcome various events that will promote contacts among entrepreneurs and vitalize business, including the SICA Exhibition to be held in Japan in November 2005, and the Japan-Central America Business Forum.
We have decided to studies of methods of strengthening economic exchange between Japan and the SICA countries.
We emphasized the importance of initiatives regarding the enhancement of small, medium, and micro-sized companies and supporting industries in each country as a means of achieving regional economic development. From this perspective Japan will continue to implement cooperation to improve productivity in various areas, which will contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the SICA countries.
We highly evaluate the achievements of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) as a financial institution for regional integration and social and economic development in Central America. The SICA countries urge Japan to continue to strengthen its relationship with the Central American region through the CABEI.
The SICA countries recognize Japan's leading role and experience in the development of science and technology, in particular the area of information and communications technology (ICT), and express the hope that such knowledge will be shared in the pursuit of social and economic development. Japan reiterates its resolve to continue to cooperate in such areas, including the promotion of direct investment.
Central America and the Dominican Republic are blessed with diverse historical and cultural heritage, rich natural resources and biodiversity. These qualities provide an environment that could be appropriately used to attract the interest of Japanese people in the area of tourism, and we recognize the importance of promoting the development of tourism in the region.
We emphasize that Central American region is implementing dynamic strategies towards the promotion of tourism, including participation in the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan and the JATA Travel Fair 2005. Japan reaffirms its support for such strategies.
We will cooperate on prevention programs that are designed to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes that cause tremendous damage in the Central American region. The SICA countries highly evaluate and offer their appreciation for the humanitarian assistance and disaster prevention cooperation that have been implemented by Japan to date at the time of natural disasters. Japan reiterates its resolve to continue to provide cooperation in such areas.
4. Education, Cultural Exchange, Sports Exchange and Youth Exchange
We recognize that human resources are an important foundation for national development, and reiterate the necessity to further improve the quality of education in the SICA countries. Japan has been expanding its cooperation with the SICA countries in the area of education and reaffirms its intention to continue to provide cooperation in this area.
We stress that the enhancement of cultural, sports and youth exchange will contribute to narrowing the distance between Japan and the SICA countries, and that such exchanges will enrich both cultures. We expect that the events to be implemented during "Japan-Central America Year 2005" will contribute to further deepening mutual recognition and understanding.
5. Cooperation in the International Arena
We shared the recognition that the comprehensive reform of the United Nations and the Security Council is necessary to reflect the new realities of the 21st century, especially to effectively deal with new threats that affect the international community, such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, international crime and infectious diseases and developmental challenges including poverty. Towards the UN Summit in September 2005, we shared the view of making efforts to achieve concrete results on Security Council reform. In addition, the SICA countries announced that they support Japan's candidature to become a permanent member of the Security Council, and that when a vote for electing new permanent members of the Security Council, is held following a resolution adopted in the General Assembly, they would vote for Japan. In return Japan has expressed its deep appreciation.
We shared the recognition on the importance of promoting the concept of human security. The SICA countries emphasized that they are utilizing the Trust Fund for Human Security that was established in the United Nations in order to realize the concept of human security, and are making efforts towards measures to prevent infectious diseases, and expand educational opportunities for children, among others.
We reaffirmed our resolve to cooperate on environmental issues, and welcome the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol on February 16, 2005. We also reiterate our interest in cooperating towards the success of the 4th World Water Forum, which is scheduled to be held in March 2006 in Mexico.
We recognize the importance of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda as a means of enhancing the multilateral trading system and will further deepen cooperation towards the 6th Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in December 2005.
The Action Plan which is appended as an annex to this Tokyo Declaration is an integral part of the Declaration, which was compiled with the aim of realizing short-, medium- and long-term policy to enhance policy cooperation, economic relations and development cooperation.
We applaud the success of this Second Japan-Central America Summit and reiterate our intention to hold the next Japan-Central America Summit in one of the SICA countries.
The Presidents and Vice-Presidents of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic extend their sincere appreciation for the consideration they have received on this occasion during their stay in Tokyo from the people and government of Japan.
We hereby sign this declaration, one official copy of which exists in Japanese and one in Spanish, in Tokyo, Japan, on this day of August 18, 2005.
Prime Minister of Japan
|José Rizo Castellon
Vice-President of the Republic of Nicaragua
|Abel Pacheco de la Espriella
President of the Republic of Costa Rica
|Óscar Berger Perdomo
President of the Republic of Guatemala
President of the Republic of Honduras
|Ana Vilma Albanez de Escobar
Vice-President of the Republic of El Salvador
|Samuel Lewis Navarro
Vice-President of the Republic of Panama
|Rafael Francisco Alburquerque de Castro
Vice-President of the Dominican Republic
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