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Statement by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the European Council, Janez Janša, at the Press Conference after the 17th EU-Japan Summit

Photo: Kristina Kosec/BOBO

Prime Minister Janez Janša: Thank you, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, for the floor. First of all I would like to thank you for hosting this Summit and for the warm and generous hospitality that Japan has extended to the EU delegation.

Through regular dialogue the EU and Japan have developed a strong partnership. Since 1991, our yearly summits have already become a tradition. The evolution of our relationship is thus in line with the Japanese proverb which says “Continuance is power”[1]. Indeed, the continuity of our cooperation makes our voice stronger and gives us confidence in addressing the most important challenges of the modern world.

I am very glad that today’s EU-Japan Summit reached a very broad consensus on a number of issues. The outcome of our fruitful exchange of views can be summarised as three most important messages.

The first one is that the EU and Japan fully assume their responsibility in dealing with outstanding global issues. The EU and Japan share concerns about climate change. We are committed to further investing in the UN climate process aimed at achieving a global and comprehensive post-2012 agreement by the end of 2009. We emphasised the need to further strengthen energy security, including through greater use of sustainable energy options. The EU and Japan will work together to promote the stability of financial systems aiming at diminishing negative effects on developed and developing countries. Our cooperation in favour of an early and balanced conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Agenda will continue. Furthermore, we firmly stand together in our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, with special reference to the development of Africa.

Our second message refers to the joint commitment of the EU and Japan to promote international peace and security. We have reaffirmed our willingness to enhance dialogue in building common views on East Asia. The EU has welcomed the emerging regional architecture in the region and recognised the constructive role of Japan in causing this process to be open, transparent and based upon universally recognised values. There was a common understanding that, by coordinating our efforts in areas such as water management, health, human resources, human rights and democracy, we shall contribute to stability and prosperity in Central Asia. A special commitment was made with respect to further cooperation on assistance to Afghanistan. We reiterated the importance of working together for the promotion of sustainable peace-building throughout the continent; for example in enhancing Africa’s peacekeeping capabilities. Regarding the Middle East Peace Process, we fully support the political process launched at Annapolis. Only a negotiated solution can bring peace to this region.

Our third message is that the EU and Japan remain determined to cooperate closely for greater prosperity and quality of life. We agreed on important issues that can bring concrete results for the benefit of our citizens. The EU and Japan will work towards greater consumer safety and protection. We will deepen our cooperation in civil aviation, which should lead to easier and safer travel between the EU and Japan. We are committed to promoting exchanges of people also by making progress in the field of visa waivers. Moreover, I would like to stress our determination to enhance mutual cooperation in the fields of science and technology. A special agreement is to be signed soon.

I shall conclude by expressing my satisfaction that, today, the EU and Japan have reaffirmed their commitment to further promoting strategic partnership. I firmly believe that, in future, we will see more and more concerted actions addressing outstanding global economic, political and security issues.

Sergeja Kotnik (STA): I have a question for Prime Minister Janša. As my colleague just mentioned, the European Union and Japan have some slightly different approaches towards tackling climate change. How will these two approaches be brought together in a concrete way? And also, how to bring emerging economies, like China or India, on board to fight against global warming?

Prime Minister Janez Janša: First of all, as Prime Minister Fukuda just said, it is very important that we also agree that many proposals are needed in order to be successful in fighting climate change. We don’t think that there is only one possible solution which should be used by everybody. We need, of course, different proposals, different approaches. We need many creative solutions, and everybody coming forward with such a solution is very much welcomed. Speaking about the joint efforts of Japan and European Union, I think that it is good that we have – in some areas – slightly different approaches because we are, of course, different economies, with different experiences, but on the other hand, we agree on the common goal. The most important thing is that both Japan and the European Union States are industrialised, developed countries which also have capacities to deal with this challenge. I think that it’s of crucial importance that it is first of all the developed countries, mostly the countries of G8, which agree among themselves to include in their plan all positive suggestions and approaches, including the suggestions and approach proposed by Japan, of course, and then lead to fight against the climate change and also help developing countries. I think that we will be able to invite on board also the developing countries and those who are not included in the Kyoto process by virtue of our leadership and also our strong commitment. At this point I want to stress that the European Union would decide to go ahead, even alone if there is no global agreement, but of course we need global agreement. The only possible successful end to this fight is with a global approach and in this area the developed countries should lead.

[1] "Keizoku wa chikara nari".


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Date: 23.04.2008