Joint Statement between Japan and the Kingdom of Bahrain

February 6, 2008

His Excellency Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is visiting Japan from 5 - 10 February, 2008 at the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Masahiko Koumura, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan. The two Foreign Ministers met to discuss the furtherance of the bilateral relationship. H.E. Shaikh Khalid had audience with H.I.H. the Crown Prince, paid courtesy calls on Speaker of the House of Representatives H.E. Mr. Yohei Kono and Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Yasuo Fukuda, and had meetings with other leading figures of Japan.

H.E. Shaikh Khalid expressed his appreciation for the invitation to visit Japan, and for the generous hospitality that has been extended during the visit. H.E. Mr. Koumura praised the democratization efforts being made by Bahrain under the outstanding leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain. Both sides welcomed the warm, cooperative and friendly spirit that characterized their discussions and issued the following Joint Statement:

  1. Both sides underlined many values, perspectives and interests shared by both sides and noted with appreciation their close cooperation in a wide and growing range of fields. Both sides were convinced that the expansion of cooperation between the two countries will benefit both peoples and further the cooperation between Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for the benefit of the region and the world.
  2. Both sides reviewed with great satisfaction the recent increase in the mutual visits of leading figures between the two countries. They also welcomed the establishment of the Japan-Bahrain Parliamentary Friendship League and the Bahrain-Japan Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group. Both sides expressed their expectation that mutual visits of Parliamentary missions would give impetus to such exchanges.
  3. On security issues, both sides shared the view that the stability of the Middle East and the Gulf region is crucial for the two countries and the international community. Both sides underlined their appreciation to each other's valuable contribution to the fight against terrorism, typically represented in the resumption of the refueling activities by Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels in the Indian Ocean, and in the continued cooperation between the two sides. Both sides expressed their hope that this cooperation would continue for the benefit of the region and the world.
  4. Both sides reaffirmed their strong commitment to achieve an early and successful conclusion of the Japan-GCC FTA, recognizing the benefits for both sides, the private sectors of Japan and the GCC states in particular.
  5. Both sides expressed their concern about the negative impact of the recent oil price hike on the global economy. In this regard, both sides stressed the importance of a stable oil and natural gas supply of producing countries.
  6. While discussing the economic matters, the Bahraini side noted with appreciation the positive role Japan has been playing in developing human resources, infrastructure and energy as well as industrialization of Bahrain. The Japanese side welcomed the developments in the GCC's common market strategy. The two sides shared their intention to promote cooperative relationship between their private sectors including in the financial and tourism industries.
  7. The Japanese side acknowledged the unprecedented growth that the Gulf region is experiencing in financial and other services, real estate, retail and manufacturing. Furthermore, the Bahraini side explained that Bahrain was attracting record levels of inward investment from around the world. In this context, the Bahraini side assured the Japanese side that Bahrain was an ideal base for Japanese businesses to develop their presence in the Gulf region and the wider Middle East North Africa market due to Bahrain's pro- business environment and legislation, low operating costs, a high quality workforce, and no corporate or income taxes.
  8. Both sides underlined the importance of developing and promoting more economic and business ties. In this context, the Bahraini side offered to deepen the cooperation with Japan's organizations contributing to the promotion of these ties such as JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) and JCCME (Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East) through Bahrain's specialist advisory team at the Embassy in Tokyo to promote the business environment in Bahrain and the opportunities for Japanese investors.
  9. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the cooperation and coordination towards peace and stability in the Middle East. Emphasizing the importance of the Middle East Peace Process, the Bahraini side appreciated Japan's efforts for materializing the concept of the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity.
  10. With respect to Iraq, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate with the international community for the stability of Iraq through the process involving neighboring countries and the Iraq Compact in particular. The Bahraini side expressed its appreciation for Japan's significant contributions to the reconstruction of Iraq.
  11. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the Iranian nuclear issue, urging Iran to comply with relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, responding to the common requirements of the international community.
  12. With regard to the Six-Party Talks, both sides called for the full implementation of the denuclearization measures agreed on 3 October 2007, and for North Korea to take concrete and effective steps toward the full implementation of the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005. The two sides also stressed the need for North Korea to address the humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abduction issue.
  13. The Bahraini side acknowledged the active role that Japan has been playing in the international community and expressed its hope that Japan would assume a position commensurate with its contribution. In this context, both sides emphasized the importance of an early realization of the United Nations Security Council reform, and the Bahraini side reiterated its support for Japan's permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council as well as for non-permanent membership in the 2008 election of the Council. The Japanese side appreciated Bahrain's support.
  14. Both sides stressed the importance of an open and friendly dialogue between civilizations, cultures and peoples as a means to overcoming barriers and building cooperation and trust in the world and reiterated their intention to continue to lead such dialogues. In this regard, they attached great importance to the "Dialogue among Civilizations between Japan and the Islamic World" in which Bahrain is a key partner. Both sides underlined that such foundations are essential to developing the deep?rooted ties between countries and peoples that provide the basis for meaningful cooperation on all issues, from security, trade to culture.
  15. On climate change, both sides reiterated their determination to achieve an effective global framework for climate change, while ensuring the participation of all major emitting countries in the world. In this regard, the Bahraini side expressed its high expectation toward the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit meeting chaired by Japan and highly appreciated the Japanese initiatives Cool Earth 50 and the Cool Earth Promotion Program.
  16. Both sides reassured that they will conduct periodical dialogues, based upon the common recognition reached by both Foreign Ministers in 2001.
  17. H.E. Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa renewed his appreciation to H.E. Mr. Masahiko Koumura, the Government and the People of Japan, for their kind hospitality, and extended an invitation to H.E. Mr. Koumura to visit Bahrain. The two sides looked forward to building on the success of the visit in the years ahead.
Masahiko Koumura
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain

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