Joint Statement

H.E. Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan, and H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, held a meeting in Tokyo on July 13th, 2004, during the official working visit of H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Jaber Al Sabah, and issued the following statement.

Reconfirming the friendly relations that have been maintained between Japan and the State of Kuwait for over forty years, and aiming at further promoting prosperous relations that are to the benefit of the nationals of both countries,

Both sides attached a great importance to the visit of H.H. Sheikh Sabah to Japan, agreeing that it provided an invaluable opportunity to generate renewed momentum to efforts to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

Both sides expressed their intention for further cooperation in all fields, particularly, the economic field. Both sides noted that it is mutually beneficial to build multi-layered economic relations by personnel exchanges and investment in both directions.

In this regard, the Japanese side welcomed the Kuwaiti intention to explore the possibility of establishing an investment office in Tokyo to promote investments in both directions.

Noting with satisfaction the positive results of cooperation between Kuwaiti and Japanese businessmen, both sides expressed their intention to form a joint Committee between the two governments, to discuss ways of further increasing cooperation in all fields, particularly the economic and commercial fields.

Both sides shared the view that the stability of the world oil market is a key element for the sound growth of the world economy. In this regard, the Japanese side expressed its appreciation for the role being played by Kuwait for the stability of supply. Both sides shared the views that further cooperation in the oil and gas development sector is important for further strengthening their bilateral relationship. Both sides confirmed the importance of the continued efforts and presence of Arabian Oil Company (AOC) in the operations in the offshore Divided Zone as a symbol of the friendship and common interest between the two countries. Both sides reiterated that they would extend all necessary support within the framework of the current agreements.

During the visit, the Kuwaiti side showed its views on the acceleration of the development process, and the significance of the participation of friends and major trade partners which will contribute to this process. The Kuwaiti side expressed that the State of Kuwait has already set particular regulations and rules which give advantages to foreign investments and made the amendments of related tax laws from which foreign investors to Kuwait would greatly benefit. The Kuwaiti side also expressed that the State of Kuwait has also been working upon the improvements of basic services for foreign investors, and in addition, upon the facilitations for trade and related sector. The Kuwaiti side expressed its desire to resume negotiations on the agreement to prevent double taxation with Japan.

In the light of recent developments in the Gulf region, the Kuwaiti side expressed their expectation that the region would witness economic dynamism and political stability that would provide a great opportunity to friends to contribute to and participate in the development activities. The Kuwaiti side expressed its willingness to contribute to such activities.

The Kuwaiti side expressed its satisfaction with the cooperation in the field of scientific research, protection and rehabilitation of environment, and the transfer of technology, including the progress of the Initiative for Japan-Kuwait Cooperation on Environmental Issues & Technology Transfer on December 29 , 2002. The Kuwaiti side also expressed its appreciation for the contribution of Japan in this regard.

Both sides underscored the importance of peace and stability in the Gulf region, and the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries in the region.

Both side reaffirmed that the stability and reconstruction of Iraq were vital to the consolidation of regional stability. The Japanese side appreciated Kuwait's support for the people of Iraq. The Japanese side also appreciated for Kuwait's support for the Self Defense Forces of Japan. The Kuwaiti side highly valued Japan's role in Iraq's reconstruction.

In this connection, both sides condemned wrongful acts of the previous Iraqi regime which caused a large scale human tragedy to the Kuwaiti POWs and detainees.

Both sides also underlined the importance of revitalization of the Middle East peace process, based on the relevant UN resolutions, the Arab Initiative and the Road Map, in order to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region. The Kuwaiti side appreciated the efforts made by Japan to secure peace and stability in the Middle East.

Both sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and confirmed their determination to promote counter-terrorism cooperation on a bilateral basis as well as within the multilateral framework, which includes the UN.

Both sides reaffirmed their intention for the implementation of UN reforms, inter alia, the reform of the Security Council, including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership.

Tokyo, July 13th, 2004

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