Joint Press Statement
On the Occasion of King Abdullah II's State Visit to Japan
Tokyo, December 4, 1999
- His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah paid a State Visit to Japan from November 30 to December 4, 1999. This visit has further deepened toward the twenty-first century the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries and the Imperial and Royal families, which have flourished for over forty years since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1954.
- Their Majesties King Adbullah II and Queen Rania, after attending the Welcoming Ceremony at the Akasaka Palace, paid a State Call on Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace and attended a State Dinner hosted by Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress. His Majesty King Abdullah II was accorded with Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum and Her Majesty Queen Rania with Grand Cordon of the Order of the Precious Crown. His Majesty The Emperor, in return, was accorded with Order of Al-Hussein bin Ali. Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania hosted a return Banquet in honor of Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress. Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania expressed their gratitude to Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress for the warm welcome accorded to them and extended invitation to Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress to visit Jordan.
- His Majesty King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi held a meeting and discussed bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest such as the Middle East peace process. His Majesty King Abdullah II extended invitation to Prime Minister Obuchi to visit Jordan. Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania attended a dinner hosted by Prime Minister and Mrs. Obuchi. Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania received in audience the president and members of the newly established Japan-Jordan Parliamentarians' Friendship League.
- His Majesty King Abdullah II made a keynote speech at the opening of the Jordan Investment and Tourism Forum sponsored by JETRO, stressing the importance of joint cooperation for expanding bilateral trade and investment and promoting tourism. His Majesty King Abdullah II addressed a speech at Gakushuin University where he had friendly exchange of views with the Japanese youth.
- In their exchange of views, His Majesty King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Obuchi shared the view that, due to Jordan's geopolitical position, "a stable and prosperous Jordan" underpins the stabilization of the whole Middle East region. Prime Minister Obuchi expressed his admiration for His Majesty the late King Hussein's courage, who had devoted himself to promoting the Middle East peace process including the conclusion of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty in 1994. Prime Minister Obuchi praised His Majesty King Abdullah's contribution to the Middle East peace process, continuing the policies of the late King.
- The two leaders reaffirmed their view that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East should be achieved on the basis of the principles of the Madrid Conference and the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 425, in particular the principle of "Land for Peace." They called for faithful implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum by the parties concerned and accelarated execution of the final status negotiations within the time framework of the Memorandum. The leaders also urged them to refrain from any unilateral actions that might prejudice the outcome of the final status negotiations, particularly in relation to the issues of Jerusalem and the Jewish settlements. Japan and Jordan committed themselves to play an active role in maintaining the stability and security in the Middle East. His Majesty King Abdullah II praised the Government of Japan for its efforts to support the Palestinian people including the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting which it hosted in Tokyo in October, 1999.
- Both Governments recognized that the international community should respond to the needs of the Palestinian refugees not only in the West Bank and Gaza, but also in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon as much as possible, noting that the solution of the issue of the Palestinian refugees is one of the most important issues for a comprehensive Middle East peace. Both sides also reaffirmed the importance of continuing assistance for the activities of UNRWA.
- The two Governments called on the parties concerned to resume at an early stage the negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks for the achievement of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. His Majesty King Abdullah II welcomed Japan's initiatives on Southern Lebanon as shown in the Four-Point Proposal. Both sides stressed the importance of creating right conditions for activating the multilateral negotiations and reviewed the efforts and initiatives taken by Japan in the working groups in the fields of environment, water and economic development. In this context, both sides appraised the newly established joint training activities in Jordan on environmental legislation and enforcement for trainees from the parties concerned, including the Palestinians, as a new type of cooperation between Japan and Jordan.
- Both sides reaffirmed their concern and sympathy for the sufferings of the Iraqi people and called for continued international efforts to find a solution to end these sufferings. Both sides called upon Iraq to comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions on the situation of Iraq. They also stressed the importance of preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.
- Both Governments shared the view that there is a need for reform of the United Nations so that it can respond effectively to the challenges of the 21st century, and they stressed the importance of early reform of the Security Council accompanied with the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership. In this connection, the Jordanian side reaffirmed its support for Japan's permanent membership to the Security Council.
- Both Governments reaffirmed the need to stand resolutely against terrorism in all its forms and regardless of its origins or sources.
- Both Governments underlined the importance of promoting the exchange of people and culture in order to foster mutual understanding between the Japanese and Jordanian peoples. They decided to consult on the ways the two countries will cooperate in this field. In particular, international solidarity created through women's exchange further strengthens the friendly relations between the two countries. They affirmed that they would continue "Japan-Jordan Women's Exchange Program" which is highly valued in each country and that the next time it would be implemented with Palestinian participation.
- Prime Minister Obuchi welcomed the fact that the preparations for Jordan's accession to the WTO have been completed as an important step for sustainable development of its economy.
- Recognizing the necessity of stabilizing Jordan's economy that faces chronic deficits of the balance of international payments as well as the issues of its external debt, and evaluating the economic reform efforts that the Jordanian Government has undertaken in consultation with the IMF and other international financial institututions, Prime Minister Obuchi announced a comprehensive "Economic Assistance Package" for Jordan which amounts to approximately 400 million US dollars for three years starting from this year until 2001 to alleviate Jordan's debt burden.
His Majesty King Abdullah expressed his deep appreciation for the economic cooperation which Japan has already extended for Jordan and also expressed his sincere gratitude for the "Economic Assistance Package."
The main contents of the Assistance Package are as follows:
(1) Assistance for Balance of International Payments including Debt Relief
Japan decided to implement "The Fifth Rescheduling (amounting to approximately 125 million US dollars)" including the reduction of rescheduling interest rate for ODA loans from 3.9% to 2.2%. Signing of the Exchange of Notes was made today between Mr. Mikio Aoki, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan in his capacity as acting Minister for Foreign Affairs and Dr. Rima Khalaf Hunaidi, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Planning of Jordan.
Japan has provided non-project grant aid to support Jordan's efforts for its economic structural reform. Japan will, if necessary, look into the possibility of additional support of this kind.
(2) Support for Self-sustained Development of Jordan's Economy
Japan will continue to promote technical cooperation under "Industrial Development Policy Advice Project" which is aimed at planning and formulating industrial policies required for a self-sustained development of Jordan's competitiveness of the industries. In order to secure the effectiveness of this policy advice, Japan will start development study on "Strengthening of Enterprise Management Capability", and secure funds necessary to implement those policies by utilizing the counterpart fund of non-project grant aid.
In addition, given the importance of promoting tourism industry which is urgently needed as one of the valuable means of earning foreign currency in Jordan, the Loan Agreement for "Tourism Sector Development Project (about 70 million US dollars)" was also signed on December 2, between the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Jordanian Government.
(3) Cooperation for Social Development
In order to ensure that economic development is accompanied by an improvement of the standard of living, Japan will continue its assistance to social development. For this purpose, and to support the Middle East peace process, Japan has been implementing grant aid for the Project for the Improvement of Water Supply System to Great Amman (Phase II), which would ensure the effective utilization of the water that has been made available as a result of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty. Japan also mapped out its course to construct King Hussein Bridge, which is the major gateway to the West Bank.
In addition, Japan decided to extend food assistance (approximately 570,000 US dollars) through World Food Program to assist Jordan to cope with the serious damage inflicted on its agriculture by the severe drought this year.
- The two sides agreed to continue close exchange of views with the participation of representatives of both countries from various fields in order to discuss overall bilateral relations including political, economic, social and cultural areas as well as economic cooperation. For this purpose they agreed to establish the "Japan-Jordan Consultation Forum" to be convened on a regular basis. "The JETRO Forum on Investment and Tourism" is the beginning of an effort to establish this Consultation Forum.
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