Press Releases European Council: Joint Statement EU-Japan Summit 2022

European Council: Joint Statement EU-Japan Summit 2022

We, the leaders of the European Union (EU) and Japan, reaffirm our close and comprehensive partnership based upon the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement, grounded in common interests and the shared values of freedom, respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, open, free and fair trade, effective multilateralism and the rules-based international order.

2. Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked military aggression against independent and sovereign Ukraine grossly violates international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines European and global security and stability. It makes our cooperation more necessary than ever in our determination to restore peace and stability and uphold the UN Charter and international law. We strongly condemn Russia’s aggression that causes massive loss of life and suffering to civilians. Those responsible for the war crimes and the atrocities perpetrated by Russia will be held accountable and brought to justice.

The EU and Japan demand that Russia immediately stop its military aggression in the territory of Ukraine, immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders. We support Ukraine in cooperation with the G7 and other like-minded countries, including by further expanding sanctions against Putin’s Russia.

We will continue to provide coordinated political, financial, material and humanitarian support to Ukraine.

We recognise that Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine shakes the rules-based international order and generates economic disruption globally, affecting partners around the world. We will work, together with the international community, in global and multilateral fora, to address and mitigate these negative global impacts caused by the aggression.

We equally condemn the role of the Lukashenko regime in Belarus in facilitating Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine reverberates strongly in international energy markets, leading to further significant price increases of fossil fuels and electricity globally. The European Union expresses appreciation to Japan for the solidarity shown earlier this year in ensuring sufficient and affordable liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to EU markets. In the light of sanctions on Russia, we will cooperate to keep global energy markets stable and help ensure each other’s security of supply, in particular for the supply of LNG. We will take immediate action to accelerate the energy transition based on energy efficiency and the large-scale deployment of clean, safe and sustainable energies. We will cooperate to reduce Europe’s dependency on energy supplies from Russia and to ensure diversification of energy supply sources, and acknowledge the need for investments to achieve this.

3. We will strengthen EU-Japan cooperation on humanitarian aid, including on advocacy and respect for International Humanitarian Law. We will also strive to broaden the global donor base to respond to sharply increasing humanitarian needs, including as a result of aggravated food crises. We will enhance cooperation on disaster risk reduction, response and recovery.

4. We strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo by force, regardless of the location, as a serious threat to the entire international order. We will enhance cooperation for a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is inclusive and based on the rule of law and democratic values, as well as unconstrained by coercion, based upon our respective, complementary strategies for the Indo-Pacific region. We fully support ASEAN’s unity and centrality. We will seek to establish synergies between our Indo-Pacific strategies, and strengthen cooperation with ASEAN in the region, including by supporting the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). We will also work with South Asian and Pacific Island countries. We will deepen our ties with the Pacific Island countries to strengthen good governance and resilience.

5. We strongly condemn the continued unlawful testing of ballistic missiles by North Korea, including launches using intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology. We will remain steadfast in our support to the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and reiterate that North Korea cannot have the status of a nuclear weapon State in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). We call on North Korea to cease destabilising actions and abandon its nuclear weapons and its ballistic missiles of all ranges and any other weapons of mass destruction as well as related programmes, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, as required by relevant UN Security Council resolutions. We support diplomatic engagement towards peace and security on the Korean peninsula and urge North Korea to resume dialogue with relevant parties. North Korea must return to compliance with the NPT and the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, and bring into force the Additional Protocol to that agreement, and we urge North Korea to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. We will continue to call on North Korea to address violations of human rights and immediately resolve the abductions issue. We also call on all states to abide by their obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions including the full and effective implementation of all sanctions.

6. We remain seriously concerned about the situation in the East China Sea, including in the waters surrounding the Senkaku islands, and South China Sea and strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions that could undermine regional stability and the international rules-based order. We express serious concern about reports of militarisation, coercion and intimidation in the South China Sea. We reaffirm the critical importance of respecting international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in particular the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means, and to maintain freedom of navigation and overflight and the obligation to comply with decisions rendered by a court or tribunal based on legitimate procedures under UNCLOS. We share the view that maritime claims must be based on the relevant provisions of UNCLOS. We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.

7. We will deepen our exchanges on China, notably with regard to political, economic and security dynamics, including on the situation in Hong Kong as well as on human rights, including in Xinjiang. We will continue our close coordination as regards Russia.

We reiterate our joint support to revive the Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and ensure its full implementation. We urge Iran to refrain from further escalations of its nuclear programme.

We will consult and coordinate closely on other shared interests, such as the Eastern Partnership, Belarus, the Western Balkans, Central Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya, Sahel, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East Peace Process, Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Latin America and the Caribbean. We will also seek close coordination between the EU, Japan and the US on global and regional issues.

8. We will further enhance our already close consultations on security and defence, including on non-proliferation and disarmament and on countering hybrid threats. We will expand practical cooperation in areas such as cybersecurity, countering disinformation, maritime security, crisis management. We remain committed to the ultimate goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons, regardless of the current severe international situation. Given the developments in relation to Ukraine, we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining and strengthening the NPT as the cornerstone of the international disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and stress the importance of accurately understanding the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. We recognise the importance of transparent, reliable and fact-based information for the resilience of our societies and democracies and will expand dialogues on countering information manipulation and interference, including disinformation, by state and non-state actors. We reiterate our commitment to promoting an open, free, stable and secure cyberspace, including by taking forward the establishment of a Programme of Action within the United Nations for advancing responsible State behaviour. We welcome the intensified naval cooperation including joint port calls and bilateral/multilateral exercises between Japan and EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta.

9. We express concerns with and oppose economic coercion through the use, or threat of use, of economic measures affecting trade and investment, which are frequently intended to induce or influence a foreign government in the exercise of its legitimate sovereign rights or choices. Such practices, which could undermine global security and stability, must be prevented. To this end, we remain committed to working within the multilateral system as well as with like-minded international partners to address these concerns including through strengthening the global economic system by setting new standards, rules or norms in related areas in support of our shared values.

We emphasise our determination to strengthen cooperation in promoting economic security. We will strengthen the resilience of our economies in the field of critical infrastructure and supply chain resilience, as well as cyber security, and export. We emphasise that the design, development, governance, and use of technology must be guided by democratic values and respect for international law and universal human rights and that technology should not be misused or abused for activities to threaten human rights such as authoritarian surveillance and oppression. We also stress the importance of an open and competitive marketplace in the supply of ICT technology and services as well as a secure, diversified and resilient telecommunication infrastructure, such as 5G and beyond 5G. We will strengthen the EU-Japan dialogue on economic resilience to address or mitigate the risk of excessive dependencies, share best practices to address risks to critical global supply chains, in areas such as semi-conductors and raw materials, and to secure critical infrastructure.

10. We launch the EU-Japan Digital Partnership in order to advance cooperation on a wide range of digital issues to foster economic growth and achieve a sustainable society through an inclusive, sustainable, human-centric digital transformation based on our common values. We will continue cooperation on “Data Free Flow with Trust” with a view to facilitating safe and secure cross-border data flows through enhancing security and privacy. This will help us harness the benefits of the digital economy. Our Partnership will reinforce the existing dialogue on these issues with a view to delivering concrete results, notably on secure 5G, “Beyond 5G” / 6G technologies, safe and ethical applications of artificial intelligence and the resilience of global supply chains in the semiconductor industry, while encouraging an open and innovative environment. The Digital Partnership will also allow us to work together in areas such as EU-Japan secure international connectivity and green data infrastructures, privacy, data innovation, digital regulation, the development of digital skills for workers, and the digital transformation of businesses, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and of public services. We will also work together for the development of global interoperable standards and to facilitate digital trade to the benefit of our workers and businesses. In addition, we underscore our joint commitment to high standards of protection for personal data, based on the EU-Japan mutual adequacy arrangement. We will start the implementation of the Digital Partnership without delay and will review annually the progress made.

11. We will work together for the successful 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva. We support strengthening and reforming the World Trade Organization as a central pillar of the global economic system. We will work towards the reforms to restore a fully functioning dispute settlement system through finding – as a matter of urgency – a long-lasting solution to the impasse over appointments to the Appellate Body. We will also work together to enhance the monitoring function of the WTO and revitalise negotiations to increase the contribution of trade to health and sustainability objectives. We will strive to advance rules on e-commerce, and ensure a level playing field by addressing non-market and other unfair trade practices, including excess capacity issues and trade distorting industrial subsidies, building upon the work among the trade ministers of Japan, the EU and the US. We will support the integration of developing countries into the rules-based multilateral trading system by focusing on their demonstrated needs in a specific area. We welcome the progress made in the negotiations on the modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty. We will engage actively in these negotiations with a view to their swift conclusion. We look forward to the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan focusing on connectivity, the implementation of the SDGs and digitalization, which can contribute to an inclusive and sustainable post-pandemic socio-economic recovery.

12. Full and efficient implementation of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) supports the recovery of bilateral trade between the EU and Japan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We will consider the launch of negotiations to include data flows into the EPA taking into account inter-alia exceptions for legitimate public policy objectives, based on appropiate mandates. We welcome the second extension of the EPA list of geographical indications (GIs) by an additional 28 GIs and the ongoing work on a third extension of the GI list. We recognise the need for accelerating the work towards the full implementation of the SPS commitments of the EPA. In this regard, we confirm the commitment to ensure speedy, simplified and science-based import procedures for both sides, avoiding duplicative assessments of elements harmonised at EU level. We confirm our cooperation on reviewing the EU’s food import measures taken in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake by June 2023, based on scientific evidence on the risk to human health by food from Japan. We continue discussions on mutual recognition of zoning decisions in the area of animal health with a view to their early conclusion. We will cooperate further on the effective implementation of the government procurement provisions in the EPA.

We look forward to the EU-Japan High Level Economic Dialogue at an early date this year as well as the EU-Japan Industrial Policy Dialogue this year. With the support of the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, we will promote cooperation between business communities such as the EU-Japan Business Round Table (BRT), including the Japan Business Council in Europe (JBCE), and the European Business Council in Japan (EBC), including to implement the EU-Japan Green Alliance and Digital Partnership and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and to promote EU-Japan business cooperation in third countries’ markets.

13. We welcome the agreement in principle on an EU-Japan horizontal agreement for air services and we look forward to its swift signature. We will accelerate the joint work towards the early establishment of one-stop aviation security arrangements between the EU and Japan in order to ensure a more seamless flow of air passengers and baggage for connecting flights, while maintaining a high level of aviation security.

14. We welcome progress made in promoting trusted, secure, sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based connectivity through our Partnership on Sustainable Connectivity and Quality Infrastructure, and will further strengthen cooperation in view of the EU’s Global Gateway initiative. This encompasses cooperation on concrete infrastructure projects consistent with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment including openness, transparency, economic efficiency in view of life cycle cost, and debt sustainability. We are advancing our work on coordination of the respective policies and projects already being implemented, as well as on the identification of infrastructure projects. We are exploring cooperation opportunities, notably on transport, energy, digital and supply chains, in the Indo-Pacific, in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries, and Africa. We will examine possibilities in Central Asia as a potential zone for further cooperation. We reaffirm our commitment to working closely with European Investment Bank (EIB) in the framework of its Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) aiming to support connectivity projects in areas such as transport, quality infrastructure investment, digitalisation, microfinance and clean energy transition. Our cooperation on connectivity will also continue in the framework of the Digital Partnership, the Green Alliance, and possibly under Horizon Europe, as well as in multilateral fora such as the G7 Partnership for Infrastructure and Investment. We will continue to promote mobility and research collaboration through the Erasmus+ programme and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and through collaborative cooperation on research and innovation.

15. We recall the importance of fair and transparent lending and business conduct practices in development finance, and urge all actors, in particular major creditors, to adhere to the international principles, rules and standards. These ensure a level playing field to preserve the economic interests of other creditors as well as the diplomatic and economic autonomy of debtors. We reiterate our shared commitment to stepping up our efforts to implement the G20 Common Framework for debt treatment in a timely, orderly, predictable and coordinated manner to give more certainty to debtor countries in line with the principle of comparability of treatment among creditors. We cooperate on enhancing debt transparency, including through debt data sharing by creditors and debt data reconciliation in line with the recommendation of the G20 Operational Guidelines for Sustainable Financing. We call on all major economies to adhere to the existing international principles and standards including the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

16. We will continue to implement with determination the EU-Japan Green Alliance. Launched at last year’s Summit meeting, it has already led to significant cooperation on energy transition, environmental protection, sub-national climate action, business and trade, research and development, as well as sustainable finance. We reaffirm the strategic value of our cooperation in the context of the EU-Japan Green Alliance and work swiftly towards an operational work plan for its implementation. We will take forward energy cooperation through the EU-Japan Energy Policy Dialogue to pursue clean energy transition towards net zero emissions and ensure energy security. We welcome the progress achieved on renewable and low-carbon hydrogen development, confirmed by our respective Ministers at their meeting in March 2022. It should be further reinforced by a Memorandum of Cooperation on hydrogen later this year. We also affirm the importance of our cooperation on the important role of natural gas during the energy and climate transition; on hydrogen with a focus on renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, including its derivative ammonia; on nuclear safety, decommissioning and innovation; and on renewable energy including offshore wind power and other promising offshore renewable energy technologies, as well as carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS)/carbon recycling.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation are topics of utmost importance in the EU-Japan relationship. Both the EU and Japan recognise that limiting global warning to 1.5 C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century, as well as deep reductions in other greenhouse gases. To accelerate global climate action, we are determined to fully implement the outcomes of COP26, including accelerating efforts towards the phase down of unabated coal power and the phase-out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and those of sectoral pledges, and we will continue to work together to achieve ambitious and tangible outcomes at COP 27. We will implement policies to reduce carbon intensity in our economies, and taking this aspect into consideration, continue to strengthen rules-based, fair and open international trade. We will continue our cooperation to encourage all countries, in particular major emerging economies, whose 2030 NDC targets are not yet aligned with the Paris Agreement temperature goal, to raise their ambition and to submit revised NDCs by COP27, as well as implement their optimal policy mixes to move towards net zero emissions globally at the latest by 2050. Our Green Alliance can enable cooperation projects with third countries, such as the Just Energy Transition Partnerships under the G7 framework. We will seek further cooperation during this critical decade towards 2030 to create biodiversity-friendly, circular and resource-efficient economies.

We will advocate for an ambitious, practical and realistic post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be decided at COP15, as well as its effective implementation. We will also closely cooperate to develop an effective international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, that addresses the entire lifecycle of plastics and enjoys broad participation.

We will strengthen our cooperation in the area of maritime affairs and fisheries including in Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and on marine protected areas. We also aim to reach, in 2022, an ambitious, fair and effective internationally legally binding instrument under the UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, as a major contribution to the protection of the global ocean.

17. Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic remains one of our priorities. Recognising extensive immunisation as a global public good, we support universal, equitable and affordable access to safe, effective and quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, as well as the strengthening of health systems. We will cooperate to strengthen global finance and health coordination, and for a world that is more resilient and better prepared to respond to global health emergencies. We will also work towards achieving universal health coverage and towards addressing the financing gap in Pandemic Preparedness and Response, including through the establishment of new financing mechanism. We will coordinate our efforts to support, reinforce and reform the World Health Organization (WHO) and engage in the discussions on developing a WHO convention, agreement or other international instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response. We call for refraining from unnecessary travel restrictions. We will work to restore visa-waiver reciprocity.

18. Recognising their vital role in creating new knowledge, we commit to expanding cooperation between our industrial, science, research & innovation, and space sectors. With this in mind, we have opened exploratory talks on Japan’s possible association to the Horizon Europe Research & Innovation Framework Programme.

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