21st EU-Japan Summit Joint Press Statement
EU News 477/2013
Tokyo, 19 November 2013
1. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, and Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, met in Tokyo on 19 November 2013 for the 21st Summit between Japan and the European Union (EU). Friendly and frank discussions on a wide range of bilateral and global issues demonstrated that Japan and the EU are closely united by shared fundamental values and principles such as democracy, human rights, gender equality and the rule of law, common security interests and deep economic interdependence. Summit leaders, mindful of their special responsibility for fostering peace and prosperity in a rapidly changing world, expressed their determination to continue to strengthen their relations accordingly.
A new stage of Japan-EU relations
2. Japan-EU relations have grown steadily since the 1991 Joint Declaration and the 2001 Action Plan, in terms of their range and level. However, significant changes occurring worldwide call on both Japan and the EU to further enhance their relations in a comprehensive manner, lifting them onto a higher, more strategic plane. With this shared recognition, Summit leaders decided to expand the horizons of Japan-EU cooperation in the following ways:
I. Realising the full potential of political and economic ties for mutual benefit
3. Summit leaders underlined the importance of continued progress in the ongoing negotiations for a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) on a comprehensive basis and an ambitious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) / Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since the start of the negotiations in April. With a shared perception of the great importance of these two agreements as long-standing foundations for their future partnership, Summit leaders reiterated their commitment to the earliest possible conclusion of these two agreements and instructed the Ministers/Commissioners to press forward the negotiations further. They will, therefore, present without delay ambitious market access offers on trade in goods, trade in services and procurement, and address the issues of non-tariff measures and railways.
4. Summit leaders welcomed indications that, in both Japan and the EU, investor confidence is back. They reiterated that trade and investment, and research and innovation are the basis of sustainable growth. Summit leaders recognised the high quality of investments by Japan and the EU in each other's markets, as well as the potential for stronger research and innovation partnerships. In view of this, they looked for expanding opportunities for Japan-EU investment and worked towards further developing their partnership in the areas of research and innovation.
II. Supporting global growth and stability
5. Summit leaders took stock of developments in the global economy, including pressures on emerging markets and the recovery trends in advanced economies. They recognised the important steps being taken by Japan and the EU to support global recovery and ensure sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. Prime Minister Abe explained his economic policy mix of the “three arrows” and the sustained implementation of the Japan Revitalisation Strategy-the third arrow. The EU explained its comprehensive economic policy strategy of differentiated and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and determined action to stimulate growth and investment. Both sides underlined the importance of their respective policy actions for achieving the G20 commitments for growth and medium-term fiscal consolidation. In the context of the G20 commitments, they also stressed the significance of enhanced regulatory cooperation for financial regulation. Summit leaders affirmed that Japan and the EU will continue to work closely together to play a significant and mutually supportive role in the G20 process.
6. Summit leaders pledged to work together to achieve positive outcomes at the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali (MC9) on trade facilitation, agriculture and development, including issues of concern for LDCs, in order to secure the credibility of the WTO. In this regard, Summit leaders expressed their commitment to rapidly advance work on the Bali package as a step towards a successful conclusion of a balanced and comprehensive Doha Development Agenda. They stressed the significance of further efforts to conclude the negotiations of the Information Technology Agreement expansion before MC9. They also emphasised the importance of enhancing cooperation in the current negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). They reaffirmed their determination to combat all forms of protectionism.
III. Working together more closely to advance global interests
7. Summit leaders, mindful of the responsibility of Japan and the EU, together accounting for 30% of world GDP and 60% of total ODA by the DAC members, to advance global interests, expressed their determination to tackle global challenges as a foundation for global peace and security and to cooperate on the following agenda.
8. Reaffirming that gender equality is a human right and a crucial element of democracy and closely linked with competitiveness and economic growth, and that fully mobilising women's talents and potential is a key aspect to reach the targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the EU welcomed Japan’s initiative aiming to create “a society in which women shine”, announced by Prime Minister Abe at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
9. Summit leaders reaffirmed their commitment to stepping up efforts towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), where the aspect of human security is essential, and expressed their mutual determination to closely coordinate their contributions to the global discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. Taking note of the increasing convergence in Japan and the EU development policy thinking, Summit leaders proposed an intensification of the bilateral dialogue on development policy. They also encouraged their respective development and humanitarian departments and agencies such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) and Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) to accelerate their collaboration in order to further increase development impacts with due consideration to inclusiveness and resilience.
10. Summit leaders stressed the urgency to act on climate change considering its adverse impacts, including on economic development, for all countries, and in particular on developing and vulnerable countries, considering the report recently issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Building upon the progress achieved in Doha, they reaffirmed their determination to work closely towards a successful UNFCCC-COP19/CMP9 in Warsaw, so as to pave the way towards 2015 wherein Parties would put forward proposed commitments in due time and have them assessed. In this context, they strongly welcomed the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's invitation for a Climate Leader Summit in September 2014, and underlined the importance of timely domestic preparations by all, as key contributions to the negotiations for a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties and to be adopted in 2015. They also recognised that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emission by all parties are required, including through action before 2020, with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial level, with Japan and the EU continuing to be among those taking the lead before 2020. In that connection, they underlined the contribution of international cooperative initiatives to the additional mitigation effort to narrow the existing gap between emission reduction pledges and what is needed according to science. In particular, they stressed the need for rapid progress on the phase down of HFCs and for its close consideration as one of the issues to be addressed in the context of the Montreal Protocol.
11. Summit leaders shared the view that achieving secure, sustainable, affordable and safe energy supplies remain key challenges facing both Japan and the EU. Building on the successful outcome of the 4th Japan-EU Energy Dialogue, Summit leaders emphasised the need to advance their cooperation on liberalisation of electricity markets, nuclear regulatory frameworks, and energy research. They emphasised the need for an intensified dialogue and co-operation on nuclear safety topics as detailed in the Annex to the 2011 EU-Japan Summit declaration. In addition, they welcomed the progress of cooperation on gas with a view to promoting the development of a transparent and liquid global gas market driven by supply and demand fundamentals. They also expressed their intention to strengthen cooperation on low carbon policies, the ITER Project and the Broader Approach Activities towards the realisation of fusion energy, and increasing clean energy and energy efficiency, while maintaining overall long term ambition in reducing emissions.
12. Summit leaders, mindful of the importance of the outcome of the Rio + 20 conference in 2012, emphasised the need for prompt implementation of the decisions taken, and welcomed the integration of sustainable development in the single overarching post-2015 development framework. They confirmed their commitment to implement green economy policies and underlined the importance of their cooperation for inclusive green growth given their respective strengths in the promotion of clean technology such as in low carbon technology.
13. Summit leaders welcomed the on-going strengthening of Japan-EU cooperation in disaster risk reduction, in particular notably the exchange of letters for enhanced cooperation between the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response in March 2013 and the following fruitful Japan-EU dialogues on disaster management in July and November 2013. They reiterated the importance of strengthening international cooperation in disaster risk reduction in order to build resilient societies against the impacts of natural or man-made disasters and encouraged further concrete steps in preparation of the post Hyogo Framework for Action towards the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in March 2015 and taking the outcomes into account during discussions on the post 2015 development agenda. They also shared their intention to intensify their co-operation with a view to further promoting and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid solely based on the needs of people affected by disasters or crisis, in accordance with humanitarian principles and with the UN OCHA in a coordinating role to support affected countries.
14. Summit leaders reaffirmed the importance of further enhancing cooperation in strengthening disarmament and non-proliferation with a view to contributing substantially to the 2015 NPT Review Conference and its process, and thus to a safer world for all, as well as the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. They also welcomed the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty at the UN General Assembly in April 2013 as an important milestone to set common standards for effectively regulating the international conventional arms trade, and expressed their determination to pursue the earliest possible entry into force and effective implementation of the Treaty. They confirmed the importance of cooperation in sanction policies, inter alia with respect to non-proliferation, and reaffirmed their commitment to responsible export controls of arms and dual-use items and technologies, especially in areas of tension, in view of the preservation of regional peace, security and stability.
15. Summit leaders welcomed progress in cooperation on mitigation of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) risks in line with the outcome of the 2011 Summit and looked forward to further enhancing inter-agency coordination through holding dialogues and implementing joint projects.
16. Summit leaders underlined the importance of further enhancing nuclear security and welcomed the progress achieved. Both Japan and the EU are among the leading players in providing human, material and financial assistance to third countries aimed at strengthening nuclear security worldwide. In this context, the Nuclear Security Summit, to be held in The Hague in March 2014, will be an important event to intensify the cooperation and strengthen measures aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism. They also expressed determination to work towards the full implementation of the commitments already made during the past Nuclear Security Summit meetings.
17. Summit leaders underlined the strategic importance of EU-Japan cooperation in science and technology in contributing to growth and competitiveness and in addressing shared societal challenges. They welcomed the significant progress achieved together in the two years since the entry into force of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the European Community on Science and Technology, in key areas of mutual interest such as critical raw materials, aeronautics and information and communications technology, and the successful start of the first joint research projects. They called for further efforts to unlock the potential of Japan-EU science and technology cooperation and to promote greater collaboration as partners for research and innovation. To this end, officials would meet to explore a way forward by the next Summit. They welcomed the nomination of a National Contact Point (NCP) for the EU Framework Programme in Japan, as an important step to facilitate the participation of Japanese entities to the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, and expressed their desire to open up new horizons for Japan-EU science and technology collaboration.
18. Summit leaders affirmed the importance of securing free access to and sustainable use of the outer space and stressed the importance of Japan-EU cooperation in that field. They shared the view that an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities was urgently needed and that both sides would cooperate closely in the multilateral consultations. For further strengthening space cooperation, both sides decided to launch a Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue.
19. Summit leaders stressed the growing challenges to maintain a safe, open and secure cyberspace in promoting economic and social development. They also underlined the need to protect human rights online, and to support capacity building for secure and reliable access to the Internet. They decided to bring together their experts to explore the possibility of launching a regular dialogue in this area.
20. Summit leaders underlined the importance of fully implementing the commitments on the reforms of the UN system adopted at the 2005 UN Summit, including reform of the main UN bodies. Reaffirming their strong support for the initiative for the management reform taken by the Secretary General of the United Nations, they would enhance cooperation in the field of United Nations administration and budgetary affairs.
21. Summit leaders welcomed the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury by more than 90 countries and the EU at the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Kumamoto in October. Bearing in mind the great importance of the Convention as the first global legally binding instrument to manage mercury in a comprehensive manner, they expressed their determination to make effort towards the earliest possible entry into force and effective implementation of the Convention.
IV. Widening common ground on enhancing regional security
22. Summit leaders reaffirmed their commitment to increase cooperation between Japan and the EU on security issues. Japan stressed its resolve to proactively contribute even more to peace and stability in the region and the world, based on the principle of international cooperation. In this context, it referred to initiatives such as the establishment of a National Security Council, the formulation of its first National Security Strategy, the review of National Defence Programme Guidelines, and the re-examination of its legal basis for security including the matter of exercising the right of collective self-defence. The EU welcomed the prospect of Japan contributing more proactively to regional and global peace and security and its work to this end. They underlined their interest in exploring the scope for enhanced collaboration on global security issues, crisis management and peacekeeping efforts including, as an initial step, through information sharing on the ground between their civilian experts as well as between personnel of Self Defence Forces and CSDP missions.
23. Recognising that security in East Asia and in Europe is closely interlinked and that uncertainties in the security environment in East Asia are growing, Summit leaders further shared the concern that current tensions, including in East Asia’s maritime areas, if allowed to persist and further aggravate, could adversely impact regional security, stability and prosperity. Summit leaders called upon all parties to reach out diplomatically in order to address these tensions and expressed their hope that these efforts would be successful. The EU welcomed the initiatives already taken in this direction by the government of Japan. Summit leaders concurred on the need to avoid any unilateral action that could increase tensions, to renounce the use of coercion and, instead, to seek peaceful, diplomatic and cooperative solutions, based on the principle of the rule of law, highlighting the important role of relevant regional fora in defusing tensions and resolving differences constructively.
24. Summit leaders stressed that the oceans, as the global commons for all the people of the world, should be open, free and secure, and underlined the importance of upholding these principles on the basis of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. With regard to the South China Sea specifically, recalling the fundamental principles set out in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, stressing the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes in the region in accordance with universally recognised international law, noting the launch of the official consultations between the parties on a Code of Conduct in September 2013, and encouraging further progress on the Code, they called upon all parties to seek durable solutions towards enhancing peace and stability in the region.
25. Summit leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to supporting ASEAN integration as a key contribution to peace, stability and prosperity in the region. They stressed the importance of building strong and effective multilateral security structures in Asia and reaffirmed their commitment to playing an active and constructive role in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Japan welcomed the EU’s continued interest on greater involvement in the East Asia Summit, and took note of the EU’s willingness to contribute to the evolution of the institutional architecture of cooperation in the region.
26. Summit leaders welcomed the substantial progress in democratic reform in Myanmar over the past two years as well as the government’s pledge to continue fully along that path. Both sides also noted with satisfaction that the international community has moved towards strengthened engagement and dialogue with Myanmar, including provision of assistance and creating new possibilities for responsible trade and investment. Both sides also shared the view that the international community will engage Myanmar to foster further coordination and harmonisation, aligned with the national strategies. Furthermore, both sides welcomed the donor coordination process in the area of development cooperation, established and implemented by the Myanmar government and expressed their commitment to fully support this process. They gave their support to the ongoing process of reviewing reforms in Myanmar towards credible and inclusive elections in 2015. They stressed the need to continue this support to secure lasting peace, national reconciliation and irreversible reforms in Myanmar including through broad and inclusive engagement by the Government with all political, ethnic and civil society actors. In this context, they encouraged the Government of Myanmar and all the relevant minority ethnic groups to promote the national reconciliation process in order to secure a lasting peace settlement, unhindered access to people affected by the conflict and increased measures to prevent inter-communal violence.
27. Summit leaders expressed strong concern about North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programmes, including its uranium enrichment programme, and its recent statements of its intention to readjust and restart its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. Having condemned its two missile launches, its third nuclear test in February 2013, they once more strongly urged North Korea to comply with all relevant UN Security Council Resolution, its IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement under the NPT and its commitment under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement. They urged North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner and to re-engage constructively with the international community, and in particular the members of the Six-Party Talks, in order to work towards lasting peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. They also expressed their continued and grave concern about the continuing systematic and widespread violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in North Korea, including the abductions issue. Summit leaders recalled that long-running discussions have not solved the abductions issue, and concurred on the need to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Japan and the EU strongly support the work of the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea that was established, through their joint initiative, by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013. They welcomed the oral update recently delivered by this Commission and praised its work to date. They jointly called upon North Korea to cooperate with it, so that the comprehensiveness of its final report is guaranteed.
28. Summit leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a peaceful, stable and self-sustaining Afghanistan beyond 2014. They noted the progress made at the Senior Officials Meeting of the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) in Kabul on 3 July and confirmed their commitment to supporting the Government of Afghanistan as it progresses from its transition process to a 'decade of transformation’. They noted that the Government of Afghanistan is expected to make substantial efforts to meet the indicators in the TMAF, and reaffirmed the commitment of the international community as a whole to support Afghan efforts including through incentive measures ahead of the first follow-up ministerial meeting of TMAF to be co-hosted by the United Kingdom and Afghanistan after the Afghan presidential election. Summit leaders welcomed their ongoing cooperation on border management as a part of their efforts to promote security and stability in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, and expressed their expectation for the success of the upcoming Japan-EU Conference on Tajikistan-Afghanistan Border Management and Cross-border Co-operation to be held in Tajikistan in March 2014.
29. Summit leaders shared the view that the Iranian nuclear programme remains a source of serious concern. Summit leaders strongly urged Iran to comply with all its obligations under the relevant Resolutions of the UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors, and invited Iran to resolve the difficulties with the international community. Japan expressed its support for the on-going diplomatic efforts of the EU3+3 chaired by EU High Representative based on the dual-track approach. The EU welcomed Japan’s proactive engagement in Iran based on its long-standing friendship. Both sides emphasised their desire for a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue, and welcomed efforts by the IAEA towards that objective. Summit leaders welcomed the signature of a Joint Statement on a Framework for Cooperation between Iran and the IAEA. It is important that Iran urgently addresses the substance of all the Agency’s concerns, and resolves present and past outstanding issues, including those pointing to the possible military dimensions of its nuclear programme.
30. Summit leaders noted with great concern the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and in the neighbouring countries, and the unacceptable levels of violence, which continue to cause suffering to millions of Syrians. Coupled with a spill-over of sectarian violence, these are threatening the stability of the whole region. They called for a swift destruction of the chemical weapons arsenal under the UN Security Council resolution of 27 September, and for meaningful engagement of the warring parties in the political process leading to a peace conference (Geneva 2). They expressed concern over the widespread and systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, for which the Assad regime carries the primary responsibility and urged all parties to facilitate unimpeded humanitarian access to the whole territory. Both sides confirmed their strong commitment to extend humanitarian assistance, including to refugees from and inside Syria, as well as to nation-building support for a new Syria.
31. Given the urgency of renewed, structured and substantial efforts in the Middle East Peace Process, Summit leaders welcomed the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in July 2013 in order to achieve a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending all claims. There will be no sustainable peace until the Palestinians' aspirations for statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security are fulfilled through a comprehensive negotiated peace, based on a two-state solution.
32. Summit leaders recalled the momentous changes having taken place in many North African and Middle Eastern countries in the last two years, with the important moves towards democracy achieved in the wake of the Arab Spring. They noted, however, that many obstacles still needed to be overcome in order for these transitions to be successfully consolidated, and reaffirmed their commitment to provide enhanced support for these reforms and encouraged the governments, and the political and social forces in the countries concerned, to continue their efforts towards stable and well-grounded democracies and economies. In this regard, Summit leaders expressed concern about the situation in Egypt, called for all relevant parties to resolve problems in a peaceful manner and encouraged the Egyptian authorities to engage in an inclusive political dialogue. They also were concerned that the security situation in Libya remained a serious challenge for the Libyan people and state institutions, as evidenced by continuing assassinations and terrorist attacks across the country and the temporary abduction of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan on 10 October. They underlined their commitment to support the Libyan authorities and emphasised the need for the Libyan Government and General National Congress to work jointly in leading Libya to achieve a stable, inclusive and democratic political transition.
33. Summit leaders strongly condemned recent despicable terrorist attacks, such as the attack in the Westgate Centre in Nairobi, and in In Amenas in Algeria. These attacks underline once again that regional instability can pose a direct threat to Japanese and EU interests. In this connection, Summit leaders concurred on the importance of enhanced cooperation among their diplomatic missions in times of emergency and in this context exploring options for enhanced information exchanges. They welcomed Japanese and EU consultations on the development of the threat of terrorism and on the scope for coordinated action to fight against and prevent terrorism. In the context of attacks in the Horn of Africa, in particular Somalia, they welcomed the political and security progress that the Somali Federal Government, together with other stakeholders, had already achieved; to sustain this progress, they reaffirmed their commitment to implement the New Deal Compact as endorsed at the Brussels conference on 16 September 2013. Summit leaders stressed that any attempt to justify terrorism could never be accepted. They renewed their commitment to eradicate all forms of terrorism and reaffirmed the importance of international cooperation especially at UN level in rooting out regional hotbeds of terrorism and in addressing the conditions conductive to terrorism.
34. Summit leaders welcomed the fact that the Malian presidential election took place in a peaceful manner with a large turnout which represented a significant step towards restorations of full constitutional and democratic order. They called on all Malian stakeholders to ensure that the envisaged legislative elections in November and December would be held in an equally peaceful fashion. They noted that the new government was faced with considerable challenges, reaffirming their resolve to help re-establish the state's authority, law and order throughout the country with due respect to the unity, territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Mali, in line with the priorities stated in the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali. As discussed at the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in June 2013, “peace and stability” and “development” are closely intertwined. In this regard, contributions in security will help provide the context for restored economic growth and development in Mali, which the Summit leaders will also continue to support. The EU military training mission was working towards this aim and starting to produce tangible results. Summit leaders also welcomed the efforts of the international community including African countries through the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA), which transferred its authority to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), to fight against terrorism in this region and reiterated the importance of international support for stabilisation of the Sahel region.
35. Summit leaders expressed their determination to enhancing partnership in African development to unleash their potential to become a global growth pole. In this regard, they welcomed the successful outcome of the TICAD V, and reaffirmed their commitment to Africa in line with key strategic approaches identified by Yokohama Declaration 2013 and Yokohama Action Plan 2013-2017. The EU referred to the forthcoming EU-Africa Summit in April 2014 which will focus on the common challenges faced by both continents, such as peace and security, and shared interests, including governance, human rights and the pursuit of inclusive and sustainable growth. Japan expressed its expectation that the discussions at TICAD V will provide a good basis for the success of the EU-Africa Summit.
36. Summit leaders shared the view that despite the success of international operations, including the EU’s Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR) and the operation participated in by Japan’s Self Defence Forces, acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and in the Western Indian Ocean remain a serious threat to maritime safety and security and to the world economy. In strengthening counter piracy capabilities in Somalia and its neighbouring countries, Japan and the EU will continue to cooperate with a view to furthering a coordinated approach, including by seeking the possibility of cooperation between their respective projects in Djibouti, for which the Djibouti Regional Training Centre can be utilised. They recognised the importance for all countries to fully comply with international law in order to ensure the effectiveness of the global fight against piracy.
37. Summit leaders noted that the threat of piracy, armed robbery and transnational criminality in the Gulf of Guinea has been increasing in West Africa and that local and regional efforts to tackle this threat deserve coordinated international support, to enhance security and increase the safety of maritime routes in the Gulf of Guinea.
38. Both sides expressed interest in further exploring possible fields of cooperation in policies and programmes aimed at sustainable development of other areas in the EU's neighbourhood. Summit leaders highlighted the role of the EU’s Eastern Partnership and Japan’s longstanding support to and engagement with this region and reaffirmed their commitment to support the evolution of the Eastern Partnership countries towards sustainable democracies and market economies. They also expressed interest in further cooperation in the Western Balkans and within the Black Sea Synergy as well as the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
V. Fostering the growing cooperation on sectoral issues
39. Summit leaders recognised the important contribution of the Japan-EU Business Round Table (BRT) to the development of bilateral economic relationships, and reaffirmed their determination to continue cooperation with the business communities on both sides, notably through the BRT, in order to strengthen relations further. They welcomed the recommendations adopted by the BRT in April that stated that a deep and comprehensive Japan-EU EPA/FTA should be completed as early as possible, recognizing that the BRT "reiterates its call that the resulting EU-Japan FTA / EPA should be ambitious, balanced, mutually-beneficial, comprehensive, and tackle major outstanding issues", which include tariffs, non-tariff measures, procurement, investment, services, competition, IPR, regulatory cooperation including harmonisation and the mutual recognition of regulations and standards to boost Japan-EU trade and investment and promote job creation and economic growth in both economies.
40. Summit leaders, reaffirming that Japan and the EU will deepen cooperation on industrial policy to achieve economic growth, considered the Industrial Policy Dialogue a useful instrument. They also stressed the importance of achieving a high degree of cooperation in the areas of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures, and seeking compatibility and convergence through the appropriate application of international standards, in particular in the automotive sector.
41. Summit leaders, considering the globalisation of the world economy, emphasised the increased importance of cooperation in competition law enforcement and reaffirmed their determination to continue cooperating under the terms of the 2003 Agreement between the Government of Japan and the European Community Concerning Cooperation on Anticompetitive Activities.
42. Summit leaders, underlining the importance of enhanced cooperation in information and communications technology, stressed the benefits of free and open Internet, encouraged promotion of international joint research and development through implementing a coordinated call or other means, and welcomed the success of the Japan-EU Internet security forum and the successful start of the first joint research projects.
43. Summit leaders welcomed the steady progress in the field of customs cooperation, in particular on enhanced supply chain security through the implementation of mutual recognition of Authorised Economic Operators programmes. They also noted the adoption of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Recommendation in June 2012 concerning the use of Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Records (PNR) for efficient and effective customs control including anti-terrorism measure.
44. Summit leaders considered transport a key area for strengthening cooperation in addressing common challenges like security, safety, oil dependency, energy efficiency and climate change. They underlined the importance of enhancing cooperation in these areas of mutual interest. They recognised the need to continue a dialogue to explore prospects for expanding Japan-EU relations in the field of aviation and furthering their potential. They also underlined the need to move towards an unrestricted access to the international maritime market, based on fair competition and a level playing field.
45. Summit leaders welcomed the newly established dialogue on urban development policy and underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation on sustainable and integrated urban practices and policies between Japan and EU.
46. Summit leaders shared the view that the restrictive measures for radionuclides in food and feed exportation from Japan or from the European Union will be reviewed scientifically, on the basis of monitoring results, to eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade.
47. Summit leaders welcomed the partial lifting of the Japanese ban on imports of beef and beef products from two EU Member States, since 1 February 2013, as well as the Japanese ongoing endeavour to rapidly review, on a scientific basis, the applications from other Member States with a view to the lift of the current bans on imports of those products. Summit leaders also welcomed the decision by the EU to allow Japanese exports of beef and beef products to the EU market.
48. Summit leaders noted with satisfaction that cooperation in people-to-people exchanges including through the 4th Japan-EU English Haiku contest, partnerships, mobility programmes and academic exchanges between institutions of higher education had brought mutual benefits, increased inter-cultural links and enhanced mutual understanding. They considered it was very important to maintain these initiatives and further strengthen bilateral relations in education and culture. In this connection, Japan decided to invite young European intellectuals and researchers to Japan in February or March 2014, and the EU welcomed Japan’s initiative. Exchanges at higher education levels could be increased through the Erasmus+ programme including through more double degree projects and joint mobility. In addition, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme will offer fellowships for young as well as experienced researchers from all over the world.
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