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Japan - New Zealand joint press statement

3 June 2005

Japan - New Zealand joint press statement

Prime Minister Helen Clark met with her Japanese counterpart in Tokyo.

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan and Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand met in Tokyo on 2 June, 2005 and discussed a wide range of issues.

1 Bilateral relations

Japan and New Zealand are partners in the Asia Pacific region, sharing fundamental values of democracy, respect for basic human rights, the rule of law and market economies. Recognizing the continued commitment of Japan and New Zealand to the peace and prosperity of the Asia/Pacific region, both countries reaffirm the value of close cooperation between them not only for strengthening the bilateral relationship but also for the region.

Japan and New Zealand have fostered close relations through multi-faceted co-operation in both political and economic areas. In particular, both governments appreciate the progress in promoting the six areas of co-operation for the New Level of Engagement (NLOE), namely the promotion of science and technology, tourism, forestry, education, people-to-people exchanges and trade and investment facilitation, as raised and supported at the previous meetings between the two Prime Ministers in 2001 and 2002.

In this context, both Prime Ministers welcome the signing of the memorandum on 1 June 2005 between the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology of New Zealand to promote co-operation in research and development. New Zealand attaches importance to such exchanges as part of its strategy to promote growth and innovation.

Japan welcomes New Zealand's participation in the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, with government funding of $8.5 million for the Expo (with an additional $1.6 million from private sector sponsors) and $3.5 million to be spent over the next three years for follow-up activities with Japan. Such efforts contribute to enhanced exchanges between the two countries.

Recognising their long standing trade and investment links, as well as the complementary nature of the two countries' economies, the Governments of Japan and New Zealand will take a forward-looking and fresh look at the present bilateral economic relationship and consider ways to strengthen this relationship. This process would consider changes in the situation both at home and abroad.

Both governments will carry out further dialogue and co-operation including in the following areas.

2 Regional Co-operation

Regional Cooperation in Asia Pacific region

Japan and New Zealand both play important roles in Asia Pacific region. Japan has made a significant contribution to the economic development and prosperity of Asia Pacific countries in recent decades, including through its Official Development Assistance (ODA) support. For its part, New Zealand values its well-established links with Asia Pacific countries, including as an ODA partner, and is committed to keeping these up-to-date, as its "Seriously Asia" initiative demonstrates.

Both countries have made contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations in Timor Leste, to relief and reconstruction assistance for the regions devastated by the earthquake off the coast of Sumatra and subsequent tsunami disaster, and to the promotion of economic partnerships with Asian countries. Close cooperation between Japan and New Zealand can make a strong contribution to stability and development in the region.

Both countries reaffirm their support for and active engagement in the process toward building an East Asian community in the future, and welcome the emerging inclusive shape of the East Asia Summit as a vehicle for enhanced regional co-operation.

Drawing on their strong record of co-operation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) process and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Governments of Japan and New Zealand re-affirm their renewed commitment to work together to respond to regional challenges.

Pacific Islands

Japan pays tribute to New Zealand's vital role in the Pacific region. Japan holds in high regard New Zealand's contribution to the reform of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), taken up while New Zealand was the chair of the PIF in 2003. Both countries reaffirm their support for regional initiatives such as the Pacific Plan.

The Government of New Zealand welcomes Japan's efforts to promote dialogue with the Pacific through the series of Pacific Leaders Meetings (PALM) that Japan has hosted, including a fourth PALM planned in the middle of 2006.

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand stress their commitment to contribute to the consolidation of peace and reconstruction in the Solomon Islands, to the promotion of the Bougainville peace process, and to continuing close co-operation as partners for development in the Pacific Island Countries, for the benefit of the security, stability and prosperity of the Pacific region.

3 Global Issues

United Nations Reform

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand emphasise their commitment to comprehensive reform and reinvigoration of the United Nations to identify ways to ensure the UN system can be more effective in addressing collectively today's challenges. The two leaders confirm they see a more representative UN Security Council as an important element in the wider UN reform process. The Government of New Zealand believes the Security Council's membership should reflect 21st century realities. In an expanded Security Council, New Zealand supports a place for Japan. The Governments of Japan and New Zealand will continue to work closely to strengthen the effectiveness, credibility and legitimacy of the United Nations.

Disarmament and Non-proliferation

Japan and New Zealand emphasise anew their determination to work actively to pursue international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. Both countries reaffirm the importance of work to strengthen the international treaty based system, including to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and related materials. In this context, both countries regret that the 2005 NPT Review Conference could not adopt a final consensus document on substantive matters, and renew their determination to intensify their efforts, individually and collectively, to maintain and strengthen the credibility and authority of the NPT regime.

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand also reiterate the call for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the immediate commencement of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty, the universalisation of the IAEA Additional Protocol and the universalisation and implementation of commitments under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions. They share a determination to encourage other countries to support disarmament and non-proliferation education especially for younger generations.

Both sides urge North Korea to return expeditiously to the Six-Party Talks without preconditions, and to commit itself to completely dismantling its nuclear programmes subject to credible international verification. In this context, the New Zealand Government expresses its understanding of Japan's concerns over the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea.

Both sides call on Iran to fully implement all the requirements of the relevant IAEA resolutions and look to the current negotiating process between the EU3 and Iran for a constructive outcome.

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand will also continue to co-operate in the fields of disarmament and non-proliferation through efforts such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

Counter-terrorism

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand share the view that international co-operation is crucial for effective counter-terrorism initiatives. The two governments emphasise the importance of the international community working closely to combat international terrorism, by means such as exchange of information, transport security, immigration controls, and anti-terrorist financing.

Both governments have a common interest in capacity building assistance on counter-terrorism in the Asia Pacific region, including through the framework of APEC, such as the regional trade and financial security initiative. The Government of Japan has worked to assist countries in Asia/Pacific to strengthen their counter-terrorism capacity in the areas including legal frameworks, transport security and anti-terrorist financing. Through its recently established Pacific Security Fund, New Zealand is providing similar assistance to strengthen legal frameworks and law enforcement capabilities in the Pacific region.

The two governments reaffirm the importance of international co-operation in combating the threat of terrorism and in reconstruction assistance in and around Afghanistan, as well as humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in Iraq.

World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand underline the importance they attach to the multilateral trading system and to promoting further liberalization of global trade and strengthening trade rules under the Doha Development Agenda in the WTO. They reaffirm their commitment to work actively to enable the necessary decisions to be taken at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December to achieve a timely and successful conclusion to the Doha Round.

Environment

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand will continue to work together to meet their Kyoto Protocol targets. They look forward to continuing their dialogue and co-operation to encourage progress in discussions by the international community on future architecture to address the challenge of climate change. Both governments will strengthen their co-operation to deploy and develop existing and new climate-friendly technologies, as well as to facilitate transfer of such technologies to developing countries.

Both sides also underline their commitment to put into effect the Plan of Implementation adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002.

4 Bilateral Dialogue between Japan and New Zealand

The Governments of Japan and New Zealand take the view that both countries have benefited from reciprocal visits by their leaders and from dialogue at various levels. Both governments will strengthen high-level exchanges, including those between the Prime Ministers and the Ministers. They will also promote bilateral dialogue including academics and researchers on appropriate issues. The two governments also stress the importance of continuing to hold regular meetings of the Joint Economic Consultations and Joint Political Consultations

ENDS

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