Politics May 2012

Joint Statement by the Prime Ministers of the UK and Japan

A Leading Strategic Partnership for Global Prosperity and Security

As the Prime Ministers of Japan and the UK, we are committed to promoting global prosperity and security, based on the shared values of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the market economy. We also have a shared responsibility to meet the global challenges of the 21st century.

We reconfirm the distinctive importance of the leading strategic partnership that exists between the UK and Japan. Japan and the UK are each other’s most important partners in Asia and Europe, respectively.

We commend the resilience of the Japanese people after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 and subsequent nuclear accident. The strength demonstrated by the people of Japan in the face of such hardship gives both leaders confidence in Japan’s renewal through reconstruction and that Japan will continue to contribute as strongly as ever to international prosperity and security.

Japan appreciates the support and solidarity extended by the British people, companies and government in recovering from the tragic events.

The UK appreciates Japan’s hosting of the High-Level International Conference on Large-Scale Natural Disasters in July in the disaster-stricken Tohoku area.

Recognising the importance of ties among the people of both countries, we reaffirm the valuable contribution which the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) programme and the Youth Mobility Scheme have been making to our bilateral relationship. We will cooperate to increase the number of students going in both directions through such schemes as a new one managed by the British Council, which will enhance research collaboration, mobility and skills among universities in the UK and Japan.

We renew our support for the Japan-UK 21st Century Group, an important annual forum consisting of prominent people in a range of fields.

We hope that the London Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a great success, serving as an excellent opportunity to further deepen the bonds between Japan and the UK. Hosting the Olympics is an opportunity to realise sporting hopes and dreams, and the UK wishes Tokyo well in its bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Building Global Economic and Social Prosperity

Based on the recognition that economic and social prosperity helps to promote peace and security, the global economy has shown encouraging signs of recovery, but significant downside risks remain.

The potential for further oil price rises is a concern for governments around the world. We reiterate our commitment to strengthen our cooperation in the existing frameworks of the global economy, including the G8, G20, IMF and WTO.

We welcome the continued implementation of the G20’s Cannes Action Plan for growth and jobs, which established significant commitments towards achieving our goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

We will also work together to develop a Los Cabos Action Plan. For our part, the Japanese and British governments are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure sustainable public finances, secure growth and reform financial regulation.

We welcome the progress made by the eurozone countries in stabilising the European financial situations, including the recent decision to strengthen the European firewall.

Japan and the UK will work closely with our international partners on the issue of IMF resource increase. We share the view that additional resources should be for the use of the whole global community based on appropriate conditionalities.

Despite the impasse reached in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations, and in line with the outcome of the Eighth Ministerial Conference in December 2011, we remain committed to concluding multilateral trade negotiations on the most advanced elements of the DDA, while looking at alternative approaches to achieving trade liberalisation.

These could include coalitions of the willing, so those countries that want to can forge ahead with more ambitious deals of their own, consistent with the WTO framework.

We also reaffirm our commitment to avoiding protectionism made at the G20 Cannes Summit.

Our two countries have enjoyed a long and successful economic partnership. Further trade and investment between the UK and Japan will stimulate our economies, provide employment for our people, drive innovation and enhance competitiveness.

It is therefore imperative to maintain, seek out and develop further all areas of potential economic growth between our countries. We are committed to offering a positive business environment that encourages business flows in both directions.

We reaffirm our commitment to launching the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations at the Japan-EU summit this year and its early conclusion, which is mutually beneficial to Japan and the EU by expanding trade and investment.

We share views on the importance of achieving a truly comprehensive agreement addressing all issues of shared interest to both sides, including tariffs, non-tariff measures, services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition and government/public procurement.

The UK welcomes Japan’s efforts to tackle regulatory and institutional reforms under the prime minister’s leadership. Japan appreciates the UK’s strong support, led by the prime minister, for the opening of negotiations on the Japan-EU EPA.

A stable, safe, affordable and low-carbon supply of energy in a world of diminishing resources and increasing energy demand is vital for economic growth and for avoiding catastrophic global climate change. Our cooperation in international fora, such as the G8, IEA (International Energy Agency), IEF (International Energy Forum) and IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) will continue to play a valuable role in addressing global energy security and climate change issues.

We will continue to discuss energy issues, such as clean energy and energy security, in the annual Japan–UK Energy Dialogue.

We are committed to taking urgent action to meet the long-term goal of reducing global green house gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

We welcome the outcome of the [Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)], especially the establishment of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, and are resolved to work together towards the ultimate goal of establishing a fair, effective and legally binding international framework applicable to all parties.

Japan and the UK have enjoyed successful civil nuclear co-operation for more than 50 years. Following the accidents at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, we warmly welcome the High-Level Symposium on Nuclear Co-operation held on 10 April 2012 in Tokyo.

We will also work for the success of the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety in December this year. The attachment to this statement underlines the importance of our civil nuclear co-operation and reaffirms our intention to work closely together in enhancing nuclear safety and regulation, sharing experience and expertise in decommissioning, decontamination and managing spent fuel.

Following the establishment of the new Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, Japan and the UK will continue to work together with developing-country partners, emerging economies, the private sector, civil society organisations and others to achieve lasting development results.

We recognise the importance of accelerating progress towards the achievement of the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) and beyond, taking into account the outcomes of the MDGs Follow-up Meeting held in Tokyo in June 2011. We will also collaborate closely in the lead up to the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) and the UK’s G8 presidency in 2013.

The UK and Japan are world leaders in the fields of science, technology and innovation. We will work together on basic research, development of new technologies, and increasing economic competitiveness. Recognising the contribution of science to addressing global issues and the importance of providing a first-class science education, we will increase efforts to step up joint research in the fields of climate change, sustainable energy technologies and life sciences, as decided at the UK–Japan Joint Committee on Co-operation in Science and Technology in November 2011.

We recognise the immense benefits to world prosperity from the growth in the use of cyberspace and the importance of protecting global security as well as the free flow of information.

We emphasise the need for states, the private sector and civil society to work together to secure these benefits. We will strengthen bilateral consultations on issues related to cyberspace and cooperate internationally to take forward the conclusion of the London Conference on Cyberspace in November 2011.

Promoting Global Peace and Security

Sharing the view that a stable security environment is conducive to social and economic prosperity, East Asia is becoming increasingly important, and its stability is vital to our prosperity and security. We will cooperate on and address the issues of instability and uncertainty in East Asia.

In particular, we emphasise that North Korea under its new leadership must abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes as well as its ballistic missile programmes in accordance with relevant UNSC resolutions and the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement.

In this context, we share deep concern over North Korea’s announcement of the launch of a missile, which would violate the relevant UNSC Resolutions, and strongly urge North Korea’s restraint. We also reiterate that North Korea must address the humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abduction issue.

Recognising the rise of China as an opportunity, we stress the importance of working with China as a responsible and constructive partner in this region and the international community.

Welcoming the recent positive developments in Myanmar/Burma, including notably the by-elections on 1 April, we encourage its government to further strengthen its efforts towards democratic reform and national reconciliation, and call upon the international community to support these efforts.

The ongoing programmes in Afghanistan and the anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia demonstrate the effectiveness of Japan and the UK cooperating to enhance global security.

Japan welcomes the 23 February London Conference on Somalia and the two countries will work together to support the conference outcomes.

The UK welcomes Japan’s initiative to host a ministerial conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo in July 2012, which will be an important opportunity for the international community and Afghanistan to demonstrate mutual long-term commitments to Afghanistan’s sustainable economic development and improvement of governance.

The UK and Japan share the objective of seeing Sudan and South Sudan peacefully resolve their outstanding areas of difference, in order that their people can build stable and prosperous futures.

We highly value the historic moves towards democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, which could lead to stability and prosperity in the region. We will support the ongoing efforts for reform in the region, which will help to build more open societies and to alleviate socio-economic problems. We also reaffirm our commitment to ensuring effective support through the Deauville Partnership.

We condemn in the strongest terms the Syrian regime’s brutal actions which have led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, and express strong concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

We support the joint UN–Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, in his efforts to deliver a political solution. We call on the Syrian government to cease immediately all forms of violence, and allow free and unimpeded access by the UN and humanitarian agencies.

Against the backdrop of the historic transition in the region, achieving Middle East peace, under which Israel and a future independent Palestinian state live side by side in peace, is more urgent than ever.

In this connection, we are deeply concerned about the current stalling of direct negotiations, request that both sides refrain from any provocative steps, including on settlements, and strongly hope for immediate resumption.

We are deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear programme and persistent failure to comply with the relevant UNSC and IAEA resolutions, and therefore call upon Iran to do so without delay.

While we hope that dialogue with Iran will deliver real progress, we will continue to work together with the international community to increase effective pressure on Iran to change its approach.

We reiterate our commitment to strengthening the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime based on the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) and relevant multilateral efforts. We are cooperating to take forward the outcomes of the 2010 NPT Review Conference towards the next conference in 2015.

We also reaffirm our cooperation to create an effective treaty at the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty this year.

We share the sense of urgency for UN Security Council reform. The UK supports Japan’s permanent membership in the Council and Japan appreciates this continuous support. We confirm our further cooperation for reform.

We also confirm that our commitment to universally agreed principles of international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), the freedom and safety of navigation, and peaceful settlement of disputes, which serve the interests of our two countries and the international community in the field of maritime affairs.

Reflecting the increased cooperation and engagement in the field of security and defence between the UK and Japan, we have decided:

  • to launch a foreign minister-led “Strategic Dialogue” with a view to sharing assessments and strategic views on the regional and international environment;
  • to start negotiations on a government-to-government information-security agreement;
  • to endorse defence ministers signing the Defence Cooperation Memorandum at the next opportunity;
  • to build on the signature of this memorandum and defence engagement—such as in research collaboration—by identifying new areas of cooperation;
  • to identify a range of appropriate defence equipment for joint development and production, that can be carried out in accordance with Japan’s 2011 “Guidelines for Overseas Transfer of Defence Equipment etc.”, which contributes to both countries’ security and presents industrial opportunities;
  • to seek to launch at least one programme of such defence equipment as soon as possible, and explore the feasibility of a future major programme that will also contribute to both our countries’ security and peaceful intent;
  • to consider appropriate government-to-government arrangements which will ensure strict control of third-country transfer and of extra-purpose use of defence equipment; and
  • to explore ways to further strengthen our security and defence cooperation, including joint exercises, training and unit-to-unit affiliations.

Building on the initiative shown by the two prime ministers, Japan and the UK will deepen the existing dialogues between relevant ministers and senior officials, to address the above-mentioned issues in a joint effort to promote international prosperity and security.

Japan–UK Framework on Civil Nuclear Co-operation
(Attachment to the Joint Statement of the Prime Ministers of Japan and the UK)

Following the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan appreciates the UK’s heartfelt assistance and measured response. As an increasing number of countries around the world are expressing interest in civil nuclear energy to reduce carbon emissions and provide low-cost, secure energy supplies that can contribute to sustainable energy, the UK expects Japan to continue to play an important role in nuclear safety, non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy globally.

Japanese companies’ technical expertise in new-plant design and construction, and the UK’s decommissioning and waste-management experience and technology, make civil nuclear co-operation particularly mutually beneficial.

Japan and the UK emphasise the importance of continuous efforts to enhance nuclear safety. Both countries reaffirm their commitment to working closely with the international community through the IAEA in further improving nuclear safety standards domestically and globally.

In this context, Japan and the UK welcome the endorsement of the Action Plan on Nuclear Safety at the IAEA General Conference, and express their commitment to ensure full and effective implementation of the plan, including for the regular, systematic peer review of nuclear installations.

Japan and the UK will work for the success of the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety, to be held by Japan in co-sponsorship with the IAEA in December this year.

Based on their long-standing nuclear experience and expertise, and a history of co-operation in civil nuclear power going back to the 1960s, Japan and the UK will work closely to share experience in the areas of nuclear safety and regulation through contact between the two countries’ nuclear regulatory authorities.

The UK welcomes Japan’s ongoing effort to create a new regulatory body, which fully takes into consideration the importance of independent, competent and rigorous regulation of nuclear safety, and of enhanced emergency preparedness, according to the principles of continuous improvement and transparency, and in line with IAEA safety standards.

To better address issues related to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan and the UK affirm their intention to share expertise, experience and technology in remediation, decontamination and decommissioning.

This co-operation may include visits in both directions by officials, experts, operators and company representatives from relevant nuclear-related agencies, organisations and companies from both countries.

Japan and the UK reaffirm their intention to continue working together in effectively managing nuclear resources. They reaffirm their commitments made in the 1998 Japan–UK Agreement for Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. Japan and the UK will continue to share experience, expertise and potential technology in spent fuel management, international transport of nuclear materials, and other areas related to the nuclear fuel cycle.

Japan and the UK have decided to launch an annual dialogue at senior level (director or above) to strengthen bilateral co-operation across the full range of civil nuclear activities. The dialogue will be held alternately in Japan and the UK, with the first meeting in Tokyo.