Remarks on EU-Japan Summit

Remarks by Her­man VAN ROMPUY Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Coun­cil fol­low­ing the EU-Japan Sum­mit
We have just con­clud­ed a very con­struc­tive and suc­cess­ful sum­mit, the Kizu­na sum­mit — the sum­mit of bonds of friend­ship — in the beau­ti­ful set­ting of Val Duchesse.
We had three main goals for this year’s sum­mit:

First to reaf­firm our sol­i­dar­i­ty with the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment and peo­ple in the after­math of the dis­as­ters of 11 March.

Sec­ond, to devel­op and con­firm EU sup­port and bilat­er­al coop­er­a­tion in the field of nuclear safe­ty, dis­as­ter relief and human­i­tar­i­an aid — in light of the ter­ri­ble events in March. And third, to build on last year’s aim to re-ener­gize our rela­tions by work­ing towards clos­er polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic ties between the EU and Japan.

I am glad that today, we reached all three goals.

In Tokyo last year we decid­ed to review all aspects of the EU-Japan rela­tions — both polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic. The High-Lev­el Group in charge made a lot of progress over the last few months. On that basis we have achieved the following:

We have tak­en an impor­tant step in our trade rela­tion­ship. By launch­ing a “scop­ing exer­cise” we have set the course towards a Free Trade Agree­ment between the Union and Japan. We still have a long way to go , but the objec­tive is now clear.

Some might say that we have not gone far enough. I say, we should not under­es­ti­mate the polit­i­cal mean­ing of our deci­sion. When two of the world’s largest trad­ing part­ners joint­ly con­firm their inten­tion to work towards a Free Trade Agree­ment, that is a big step for­ward: It car­ries sym­bol­ic and polit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance, but also a lot more. The poten­tial eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal results are huge, in terms of jobs, growth, and a shared destiny. 

But our rela­tion­ship can­not be just about trade. That’s why we con­firmed that both polit­i­cal and sec­toral aspects should be cov­ered, fur­ther devel­op­ing them in a bal­anced and com­pre­hen­sive way. We both have a high lev­el of ambi­tion, and com­mit­ted our­selves to par­al­lel nego­ti­a­tions of a linked Frame­work Agreement.

We do not start from zero, of course, the EU and Japan already have a co-oper­a­tion on the polit­i­cal side. But there is still major poten­tial wait­ing to be exploit­ed. We are not yet where we should be, we are not yet where we both wish to be. But at our today’s sum­mit we intend­ed to give new momen­tum to the exist­ing cooperation.

As I men­tioned above, the Euro­pean Union and Japan already work togeth­er: on peace and secu­ri­ty, includ­ing in Afghanistan; on non-pro­lif­er­a­tion regard­ing North Korea. We should also devel­op our coop­er­a­tion on cri­sis management.

In addi­tion, we should con­tin­ue to build on our close mul­ti­lat­er­al coop­er­a­tion, not least in the frame­work of Unit­ed Nations. The UN Res­o­lu­tion enhanc­ing the EU’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the work of the Gen­er­al Assem­bly will make this eas­i­er — and I thanked the Prime Min­is­ter for his sup­port in its adoption.

The triple dis­as­ter which hit Japan in March has influ­enced the con­text of EU-Japan rela­tions as well. After the earth­quake and the tsuna­mi dis­as­ter relief and human­i­tar­i­an relief are now even stronger in focus as areas of bilat­er­al cooperation.

After the events in Fukushi­ma, Nuclear safe­ty is now also at the fore­front of the polit­i­cal agen­das world­wide. Imple­ment­ing the high­est lev­el of nuclear safe­ty and con­tin­u­ous­ly improv­ing safe­ty is a pri­or­i­ty for both the EU and Japan.

Our polit­i­cal coop­er­a­tion is built on the strong con­vic­tion that the Mem­ber States of the Euro­pean Union and Japan defend the same val­ues and the same type of soci­eties. We are both adapt­ing to a rapid­ly chang­ing world.

That is why it has been a priv­i­lege to dis­cuss with you, PM Kan, the changes of the glob­al strate­gic land­scape — from the devel­op­ments in East Asia (close to you) to those in the Arab world (close to us). We also exchanged views on devel­op­ments in the Euro­zone and the eco­nom­ic recov­ery in Japan, know­ing that in today’s glob­al econ­o­my we all depend on each other’s strength. Final­ly, Mr. Prime Min­is­ter, let me just recall the trag­ic days of 11 March and its after­math. The Euro­pean Coun­cil adopt­ed a dec­la­ra­tion of sol­i­dar­i­ty on that very day, and both Pres­i­dent Bar­roso and myself con­tact­ed you as soon as pos­si­ble to offer help.

But more impor­tant­ly, the triple dis­as­ter that hit Japan led to an imme­di­ate and mas­sive dis­play of sol­i­dar­i­ty from the Euro­pean pub­lic opin­ion in gen­er­al. This sol­i­dar­i­ty reflect­ed that the strong com­mit­ment to the strate­gic part­ner­ship of our coun­tries does exist not only amongst politi­cians, but pri­mar­i­ly amongst our publics. It is this foun­da­tion that we will build on in the future. I am con­vinced that Japan will come out strong out of these dis­as­ters. It will show the vital­i­ty of the Japan­ese peo­ple and democracy.

Mr Prime Min­is­ter, I will fin­ish with a Haiku:

The three dis­as­ters
Storms turn into a soft wind.
A new, humane wind.

Source:
Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →