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Last Update : Friday, Jun 5, 2015

JapanGov Weekly

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Saturday, May 30, 2015]

The 23rd Japan-EU Summit

On Friday, May 29, commencing at 5:45 p.m. for approximately three hours, including a joint press conference, the 23rd Japan-European Union (EU) Summit Meeting was held in Tokyo. The overview of the meeting is as follows. Attending on the Japanese side were Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Yoichi Miyazawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and others. Attending on the EU side were Mr. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, and others. As an outcome of the meeting, the leaders issued a joint press statement (PDF)(

1. Opening Remarks

Prime Minister Abe welcomed both leaders to Japan, and expressed his intention to confirm the important role that Japan and the EU, which share fundamental values, play in achieving peace, stability and prosperity in the international community, and promote further progress in the negotiations on both the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Japan EU Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) on the occasion of this Japan-EU Summit Meeting, the first to be held with the two leaders,. In response, President Tusk explained that Japan is one of the EU’s closest friends, and it is only natural that the EU chose Japan as the partner for his first summit meeting outside the European region. In addition, President Juncker stated that this is the second time he has met Prime Minister Abe since the G20 in Brisbane in November last year, and is his fifth visit to Japan, and he hopes to deepen discussions on the ambitious free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan.

2. Japan-EU Relations

(1) Security Field

Prime Minister Abe explained the “Legislation for Peace and Security” that was recently submitted to the Diet, and the EU leaders expressed their support and approval for Japan’s efforts based on the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace.” Furthermore, the Japanese and EU leaders welcomed concrete progress regarding cooperation between Japan and the EU on missions to improve security in the Republic of Niger and the Republic of Mali, as well as the joint exercises and cooperation with trials that Japan and the EU are undertaking in connection with anti-piracy activities off the coast of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and they decided to promote further cooperation.

(2) Economic Field

Both leaders shared the view that they attach importance to both speed and quality in the Japan-EU EPA, and will further accelerate the negotiations, aiming to reach agreement in principle during this year.
In addition, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan’s economic situation, including the current state of Abenomics.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe requested that the EU’s import restrictions on food from Japan be eased and lifted on a scientific basis, and expressed his intention to cooperate with the EU in fields such as energy.

(3) Cooperation in other fields

The Japanese and EU leaders shared the view that they will deepen cooperation in the fields of global commons, including the sea, outer space and cyberspace and humanitarian assistance. Additionally, the Japanese and EU leaders confirmed they will advance further cooperation in the science and technology fields, endorsed the Joint Vision towards a new strategic partnership, and welcomed the signing of a joint declaration on future generation of communications networks and a cooperation arrangement on researcher exchanges between Japan and the EU.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe announced the new Japan-Europe MIRAI programme for promoting next-generation exchanges by inviting 150 university students and others from Europe during the current fiscal year. The EU leaders welcomed the programme.

3. Global agendas

The Japanese and EU leaders shared the view that Japan and the EU will cooperate and collaborate in responding to the climate change issues towards the success of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), international counterterrorism, including border security, and the post-2015 development agenda and other issues. Additionally, Prime Minister Abe explained the importance of promoting “Quality Infrastructure Investment” in order to deal effectively with the world’s vast infrastructure demand.

4. Regional issues

(1) Concerning the situation in Ukraine, Prime Minister Abe expressed his respect for the EU’s initiatives for peace in Ukraine, and stated that Japan also attaches importance to the solidarity of the G7 and is making an effort to improve the situation. Prime Minister Abe also explained that for Ukraine to become a nation that is resilient and sustainable, bold and comprehensive reform will be essential, and Japan will steadily implement support to encourage Ukraine’s reform efforts. In response, the EU leaders expressed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, noted the importance of implementing the Minsk agreements, and conveyed their gratitude for Japan’s support and assistance.

(2) Concerning the situation in East Asia, Prime Minister Abe explained recent developments such as the Japan-China Summit Meeting in April, and Japan’s basic position. In response, the EU leaders provided a comprehensive explanation of the EU’s relationship with China. The Japanese and EU leaders also confirmed ongoing cooperation in connection with North Korea.

(3) Concerning the Iran situation, Prime Minister Abe and Minister Kishida welcomed the recent Lausanne Accord, and expressed expectation that a final agreement will be reached. The Japanese and EU leaders shared the view that they will continue to work closely together on forming a final agreement. Additionally, the Japanese and EU leaders also exchanged views on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), peace in the Middle East, and Africa.

[Cabinet Secretariat] [Thursday, Jun 4, 2015]

Japan-Philippines Summit Meeting

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a summit meeting and other events with H.E. Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines at Akasaka Palace State Guest House.

First, both leaders took part in the summit meeting, which was followed by the signing ceremony, exchange of documents, and joint press announcement.

Later, the Prime Minister hosted a banquet, and said the following during his address,

“I would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to President Aquino and his associates upon their visit to Japan. This State Guest House is the same one that President Aquino’s mother, former President Maria Corazon Aquino, visited as a state guest in 1986. I am very pleased to have the honor of welcoming the current President Aquino to this same location as a state guest.

President Aquino was kind enough to extend a very warm welcome and world-famous Filipino hospitality to me during my visit to the Philippines two years ago. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your kindness.

I would also like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to the top political and business leaders and cultural representatives invited to the banquet tonight for their continued efforts and dedication to strengthening the relationship of friendship and cooperation between our two nations.

I was tremendously impressed with President Aquino’s address to the Diet yesterday. This evening, many of my fellow representatives are in attendance and I am certain that they were moved in the same way. A littler earlier, I told President Aquino that his address was an “out-of-the-park homerun,” but I just learned that basketball is more popular in the Philippines than baseball, so I would like to revise my expression to “slam dunk.”

I am very grateful that President Aquino supports Japan’s efforts, including the path we have taken as a peaceful nation since WWII, as well as our proactive contributions to peace and our growth strategy. In this, our sixth meeting together, we were able to confirm recognition of our two countries’ relationship in various fields, and have a very meaningful discussion.

In the 70 years since the end of World War II, Japan and the Philippines have built an extremely friendly relationship, through unwavering effort and dedication. During this time, countless Japanese nationals, including aid officials and private sector employees, have dedicated themselves to assisting the Philippines in nation building.

When Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines two years ago, more than 1,000 Self Defense Force personnel were dispatched to aid in the relief. Also, many other Japanese nationals, including some in attendance this evening, asked how they could assist. At the time, the English Facebook page of the Prime Minister’s Office received a record number of likes and messages of thanks from Filipinos living around the world.

The people of the Philippines have also consistently demonstrated their good wishes and great kindness to Japan over the last seven decades. In welcoming President Aquino on this occasion, I have once again found that the goodwill and determination of both countries are the cornerstones of our present bilateral relationship. I have a renewed sense of determination to further strengthen this bond between our countries together with President Aquino.

Next year, we will mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two nations. I would like to offer a toast to the health and happiness of President Aquino and everyone here tonight and for the further development of our two countries’ relationship.”

[Cabinet Secretariat] [Thursday, Jun 4, 2015]

"We Are Tomodachi Summer 2015"

Summer 2015 issue of “We Are Tomodachi” is now available online.
Learn about how Japan & Japanese people have contributed to the world through official development aid, dispatch of experts and volunteers overseas, and participation in the UN peace keeping operations. This issue also profiles a Japanese conductor contributing worldwide through music, Japanese robots helping people move, along with beautiful summer sceneries in Japan, and more.
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