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Press Statement: V4 + Japan Foreign Ministers Meeting, Hamburg

  1. The Foreign Ministers Meeting of V4+Japan was held on May 28 2007 in Hamburg, Germany. The meeting was attended by Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Mrs. Kinga Göncz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary, Mrs. Anna Fotyga, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland upon the invitation of Mr. Ján Kubiš, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic in his capacity as a current Chairman of Visegrad Group.
  2. Ministers expressed their desire to further enhance cooperation between V4 Group and Japan which will contribute to further strengthening of Japan - EU relations as well as materializing Japan's new pillar in diplomacy "Arc of Freedom and Prosperity".
  3. Based on common recognition that V4+Japan cooperation has been successfully in progress, achieving its objectives to strengthen relations as partners sharing common values such as democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and market economies, Ministers discussed the following themes.
Review of V4 + Japan Cooperation

  1. Ministers reviewed with satisfaction achievements of V4 plus Japan cooperation in various areas reported below and reaffirmed the significance of such cooperation as being in line with EU-Japan cooperation.

Regional and International Issues
  • V4+Japan Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Brussels in 2005
  • Foreign Ministries' Political Consultations between V4 countries and Japan in Bratislava in March 2004 and in April 2007
  • Workshop "Enlargement of the European Union and Security Policies of Visegrad 4 countries" organized by the Government of Japan in Tokyo in March 2004

Trade and Investment
  • Seminar on Investment promotion in the South-eastern Europe and V4 Countries organized by Government of Japan in Tokyo in March 2007

  • V4 Japanese Study Tour organized by the Governments of V4 countries in July 2006
  • Joint participation of V4 countries in the World Tourism Congress held in Tokyo in September 2006
  • Workshop and Lectures on the Promotion of Tourism organized by the Government of Japan in Tokyo in December 2006
  • Increase in number of charter flights from Japan to V4 countries.
The Future V4 + Japan Cooperation

  1. Ministers expressed their willingness to hold meetings on biennial basis using the occasion of multilateral fora such as ASEM FMM or UN GA in order to strengthen political dialogue and to review achievements of V4+Japan cooperation in priority areas. In order to facilitate Ministerial Meetings Political/Territorial Directors meetings and thematic meetings on the directorial or expert level are encouraged to be held annually.
  2. Ministers also expressed their willingness to further deepen the mutual understanding on the respective official development assistance policies and to promote the cooperation in this area. The Japanese party proposed to organize a workshop on development assistance for officials of V4 countries and V4 countries expressed their support for the workshop. Furthermore, V4 interest to promote cooperation with Japan in Central Asia, Western Balkans, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus was noted.
  3. Japan and V4 confirmed their commitment to further promote trade and investment cooperation. Ministers agreed to further explore possibilities for support of small and medium enterprises by utilizing potential of existing EU-Japan business promotion schemes. Following the successful investment seminar in March 2007 V4 ministers expressed strong interest to follow-up with business seminars in order to attract Japanese investment with added value (in ICT, electronics, robotics, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies) and to increase cooperation in areas of basic and applied science disciplines and innovation approaches.

Exchange of Views on Various Regional and International Issues

  1. Ministers held frank and open exchange of views on various current regional and international developments and underlined the importance of strengthening dialogue between V4 countries and Japan in this regard.
  2. In a world of global challenges the security and prosperity in every corner of the world increasingly depend on an effective multilateral system. Ministers reiterated their support for fair and rule-based international system with the United Nations in its core and the United Nations Charter as a fundamental framework for international relations. Strengthening the United Nations and equipping it to fulfil its responsibilities is considered as a common priority. Ministers reaffirmed their continuing support to ongoing reform process of the UN, notably the reform of the Security Council. In this context, V4 Ministers expressed their support to Japan's well-founded aspiration to become a permanent member of the Security Council."
  3. Acknowledging shared interests and joint responsibilities in the field of environment protection and energy security, Ministers encouraged closer cooperation on climate change, sustainable energy and multilateral approach to establishing of stable, effective and transparent global energy markets complementing efforts at the other multilateral fora. They further stressed the need for an active participation in the post-Kyoto "Montreal process" and further decisions aimed at promoting a more effective implementation of the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol paving the ground for the negotiations on a global and comprehensive post-2012 climate regime.
  4. Ministers stressed the strong need for a peaceful solution of DPRK's nuclear issue and reaffirmed that denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula remains an international priority. They encouraged all parties concerned especially the DPRK to work towards full implementation of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks as well as the agreement reached on 13 February 2007. They also emphasized the importance of steadily implementing UNSCRs 1695 and 1718. They expressed hope that progress will be made in the talks between Japan and the DPRK on bilateral issues and stressed the importance of resolving the abduction issue as early as possible. V4 Ministers reiterated their continued support for the resolution of this issue.
  5. Ministers reaffirmed long-term commitment of their respective countries to assist Afghanistan to bring peace, stability and prosperity to the country including reduction of drugs-related illegal activities within the framework of the Afghanistan Compact in order to help people of Afghanistan in their justified aspirations to achieve peaceful and prosperous life.
  6. Sharing the similar objectives in Central Asia—support of independence status, democratic and pro-reform developments of countries in the region, Ministers confirmed the existence of common ground for broader cooperation in Central Asia and discussed the overall situation in the region. V4 ministers informed the Japanese side about the currently drafted EU Strategy on Central Asia.

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