Islam Abduganievich Karimov, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, paid an official visit to Japan at the invitation of the Government of Japan from February 8 to 10, 2011, and held a summit meeting with Naoto Kan, the Prime Minister of Japan.
Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan and Islam Abduganievich Karimov, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, (hereinafter referred to as "both sides"), conducted a future-oriented exchange of opinions on a broad range of fields and issued the following Joint Statement with the aim of further deepening the overall relationship between the two countries.
IDStrategic importance of the relations between the two countries
- Both sides confirmed with satisfaction that the friendly relationship between the two countries has continued to expand since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992 and recognized that the strategic partnership of Uzbekistan and Japan has steadily expanded based on the Joint Statement on Friendship, Strategic partnership and Cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Uzbekistan dated as of July 29, 2002. Looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, both sides expressed their intention of elevating the relationship between the two countries to an even higher level through the strengthening of cooperation in a broad range of areas, expansion of exchange, and further activation of mutual visits.
- The Japanese side reaffirmed that the Republic of Uzbekistan, positioned in the center of the Central Asian region at the "crossroads of civilizations" linking Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, is a key country in geopolitical terms for peace and development of the Central Asian region and therefore for the security and prosperity of the Eurasian Continent as a whole, and expressed its recognition that especially in recent years the importance of the role and responsibility of the Republic of Uzbekistan in maintaining the stability of the Central Asian region and surrounding regions has been increasing. In this regard, the Japanese side valued the Republic of Uzbekistan's efforts on preventing escalation of the conflict in the southern part of the Kyrgyz Republic in June 2010. Both sides welcomed that the investigation by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the events in the Southern part of the Kyrgyz Republic was implemented. Sharing the solid determination that such situation should never occur again, both sides reaffirmed the importance of stability and development of Central Asian region as a whole.
- The Uzbek side expressed its recognition of the importance of developing an even closer mutually-beneficial cooperative relationship with Japan in a broad range of fields in order for the Republic of Uzbekistan, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its independence in 1991 and has been achieving sustainable economic growth and dynamic development under the unstable conditions of financial and economic situation in the world, to realize further social and economic development and achieve stability and prosperity.
- Recognizing a mutual heightening of interest by the two countries, both sides expressed their confidence that this visit by President Islam Karimov would provide an ideal opportunity for fully demonstrating the potential of the relationship between the two countries based traditionally on friendship, trust, and mutual benefit, and for raising to new heights the relationship of cooperation between the two countries based on strategic partnership in various fields, including politics, economics, culture, science and technology and education.
II. Cooperation in the field of politics
- Both sides expressed their satisfaction at the active progress with regard to mutual visits of political leaders at various levels, including those at the high-level, and political dialogue between the two countries. Both sides welcomed the signing of Memorandum on Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan aimed at broader discussion about policies between the two countries regarding current regional and international issues as well as the relationship between the two countries, and enhancing cooperation in mutual fields of interest.
- The Uzbek side emphasized and expressed appreciation for the substantial role in the development of the relationship between the two countries played by the Japanese parliamentary friendship leagues for Uzbekistan. In this regard, both sides welcomed the holding of an exchange event between parliamentary friendship groups of the two countries in December 2010 on the occasion of the visit made by the high-ranking parliamentary delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Japan, and expressed expectations that this would prompt further expansion of interparliamentary cooperation between the two countries in the future.
- Both sides reaffirmed their recognition of the importance for further deepening the cooperative relations between the two countries of pursuing to achieve the universal values of freedom, democracy, fundamental human rights, rule of law, and a market economy. In this regard, while recognizing the results of progressive reforms being implemented by the Uzbek side in recent years, the Japanese side expressed its expectations that further efforts towards democracy and economic reforms by the Republic of Uzbekistan would proceed successfully.
- Both sides confirmed that the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue is a valuable framework contributing to the promotion of cooperation between Japan and Central Asian countries and cooperation within the Central Asian region. Both sides expressed their intention of continuing their cooperative efforts based on the mutually beneficial directions of cooperation, determined by the Third Foreign Ministers' Meeting within the framework of the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue, which was held in Tashkent in August 2010.
- With regard to regional security, sharing an awareness that strengthening regional security is urgently required in preventing terrorism and violent extremism remaining in the Central Asian region and surrounding regions, transnational organized crime such as drug trafficking and weapons smuggling, and other threats, both sides confirmed the importance of continuing cooperation between the two countries in dealing with these problems. In this regard, the Uzbek side highly praised Japan's support, which would contribute to the enhancement of international border control capabilities, and expressed its expectations for an increased Japanese presence with regard to the strengthening of security in the Central Asian region.
- Japanese side acknowledged the high motivation of the Republic of Uzbekistan to deal with the regional issues including the use of water resources in the Central Asian region on the basis of commonly recognized principles of international law, taking into account the interests of all relevant states. On these issues, both sides recognized the importance of facilitating consensus-building efforts among all regional countries concerned.
III. Cooperation in the economic field
- Both sides shared a recognition of the importance of strong economic ties for the overall development of bilateral relationship and expressed their intention of concentrating greater effort on strengthening trade and investment between the two countries.
- Both sides also recognized the necessity of continuous improvement of the business environment, including procedure of import and export. The Uzbek side emphasized that for the Republic of Uzbekistan, which has been achieving economic growth in recent years, one of the most important issues for further economic development is to attract Japanese investment and business operations to the Republic of Uzbekistan and modernization of the industrial structure through the accompanying transfer of technology.
The Uzbek side highly praised the activities of Japanese corporations in the Republic of Uzbekistan and expressed its expectations for the further expansion of Japanese investment and the further deepening of the business relationship between the two countries.
- Both sides recognized the importance of mineral resources for future industrial expansion. Both sides shared a recognition of the importance of promoting cooperation between the two countries aimed at industrial expansion based on mineral resources, including the joint exploration that is currently being carried out, and expressed their intention to cooperate jointly to facilitate participation in this field by interested Japanese corporations.
Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum regarding cooperation in the exploration and development of uranium deposits in the Republic of Uzbekistan between the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and the State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan (GOSCOMGEOLOGY) and achieved common recognition that the active promotion of diversified cooperation by the two countries in the future in the field of uranium resource development for peaceful purposes in the Republic of Uzbekistan is mutually beneficial.
- The Uzbek side expressed its appreciation for the promotion of market economy, infrastructure improvement, institution building, and human resources development in the fields of education and healthcare in the Republic of Uzbekistan, which has been made possible by Japanese official development assistance (ODA), while at the same time reiterating its determination to provide full cooperation to ensure the smooth implementation of these projects. The Uzbek side highly praised the vigorous activities of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the implementing agency, in the Republic of Uzbekistan. In response, the Japanese side expressed its intention to continue to provide efficient support based on the needs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
- With regard to ODA loans, following Japan's extension of an ODA loan in 2004 for the Tashguzar-Kumkurgan New Railway Construction Project, the Japanese side expressed its intention of providing a loan up to 18.067 billion yen for the implementation of the Karshi-Termez Railway Electrification Project, in order to shorten the transit time of the 325km rail section, which includes the Tashguzar-Kumkurgan section, reduce transit costs, contribute to increased transit volume, and promote trade within the region, thereby also contributes to the transportation of non-military goods to Afghanistan.
- In order to continue support for improving the living standards of the people and maintaining sustainable development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Japanese side expressed its intention of providing financial cooperation this fiscal year in the form of Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security for a total of 18 projects for improving equipment so as to enhance the educational environment of schools across the Republic of Uzbekistan, improving equipment in medical institutions, and improving equipment so as to improve irrigation and drainage systems in farming villages.
- Both sides recognized that the worsening of ecological condition in the Aral Sea continues to inflict serious damage on the lives of people living in the region. In this regard, both sides welcomed the progress of the procedure in international organizations toward expression of support for the Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster project through the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security(UNTFHS), which was established under the initiative of Japan.
Both sides recognized that the concept of human security, which focuses on coordination between national governments, local authorities, international organizations, and NGOs as well as cross-sectoral approaches, is effective approach in order to deal with problems such as the Aral Sea problem caused by multiple factors, and decided to cooperate in the disseminate and realization of this concept.
- The Uzbek side highly praised the contribution of the activities of the Uzbekistan-Japan Center for Human Development in various fields to the development of human resources in the Republic of Uzbekistan. Regarding that the Republic of Uzbekistan announced 2011 as the Year of small business and private entrepreneurship, both sides decided to consider the possibility of the Uzbekistan-Japan Center for Human Development implementing small and medium enterprise (SME) support cooperation in collaboration with such organizations as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan in order to provide training and support for SMEs.
- Both sides highly praised the activities of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in the Republic of Uzbekistan and confirmed that JETRO's Tashkent office, which marks the 10th anniversary of its establishment, is playing a large role in the development of the trade and investment ties between the two countries.
- Both sides highly praised the activities of the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and NIS (ROTOBO), which has played the roles as the secretariat of the Japan-Uzbekistan Economic Committee and also as the secretariat of the Japan-Uzbekistan Network for Investment Environment Improvement, and shared expectation for its contribution to further development of the trade and investment relations between the two countries.
- Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the role which has played by the Japan-Uzbekistan and the Uzbekistan-Japan Economic Committees and highly praised the results of the 10th Japan-Uzbekistan Joint Economic Conference, which was held on February 8, 2011. Moreover, with regard to cooperation in further improving the trade and investment environment and in various other fields, both sides shared the view to investigate the possibility of consultations on an even broader level.
- Both sides welcomed the steady strengthening of the economic relationship between the two countries through such events as the entry into force of the Agreement between Japan and the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investment in September 2009 and the successful holding of an international conference in Tokyo in April 2010. Both sides also expressed their intention of continuing in the future to utilize the "Central Asia plus Japan" Dialogue and other frameworks while continuing to support the creation of investment and business opportunities among both countries' corporations.
- Both sides confirmed their recognition of the importance of cooperation by the two countries in the fields of energy conservation, renewable energy, and alternative energy in order to secure a stable energy supply while conserving the natural environment. From this perspective, both sides welcomed the progress being achieved in the implementation of energy-conserving models at the Uzbek Energo Tashkent Cogeneration Plant that is being carried out jointly by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and expressed their intention of continuing support to ensure the successful implementation of these operations. Furthermore, both sides welcomed the promotion of clean development mechanisms (CDM) by Japanese corporations in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
- The Uzbek side expressed its interest in cooperation between the two countries in the fields such as information-communication technology (ICT), in which Japan possesses advanced technology.
- Both sides highly valued that the Agreement for Air Services, the Agreement on Technical Cooperation, and the Agreement for the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investment have come into effect bilaterally, and confirmed their intention to study the necessity of further development of the legal basis between the two countries in other areas in light of practical needs while accumulating concrete examples of cooperation towards the development of bilateral relations in the future.
With regard to the possibility of establishing an agreement concerning mutual administrative assistance cooperation in customs matters, both sides confirmed their intention to continue the consultations between the relevant authorities of the two countries.
- Both sides welcomed the signing of a Memorandum regarding cooperation in the expansion of trade and investment between the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and the Ministry for Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
IV. Cooperation in the international arena
- Both sides expressed their continuing commitment to providing support for Afghanistan from the standpoint that the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan is essential for securing stability of the region as well as the international community. Both sides highly praised each other's support for the enhancement of Afghanistan's ownership and capabilities in the civilian sector, including governance, and expressed their intention to consider the possibility of future cooperation in this field.
- Both sides strongly criticized all forms of terrorism and expressed their intention of sharing information on terrorists and terrorism, strengthening cooperation in the fight against terrorism by supporting the improvement of counter-terrorism capabilities and promoting cooperation within multinational frameworks, including the United Nations. The Japanese side welcomed the recent efforts of the Republic of Uzbekistan with regard to the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations.
- Both sides emphasized the importance of increasing the representation, effectiveness, and transparency of the United Nations Security Council even further and confirmed that it was necessary for the two countries to maintain their close cooperation in order to realize the early reform of the Security Council, including expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories. In this regard, the Uzbek side expressed support for Japan to become a permanent member of the Security Council, and the Japanese side expressed its appreciation for this support.
- With regard to the development of nuclear program by North Korea, both sides stressed the necessity of achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. They reiterated the importance of the steady implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874 by all the UN member states. They also expressed serious concerns about North Korea's actions including its artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island last November. Furthermore, they reaffirmed that it is necessary for North Korea to address humanitarian concern of the international community.
- Both sides reiterated the urgent need for resolving the climate change issues, and shared the view that the Cancun Agreements adopted at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are the great outcome which will lead to the establishment of a fair and effective international framework with the participation of all major economies and it is essential to seek the ultimate objective of adopting expeditiously a new and comprehensive legal document, based on the Cancun Agreements. They affirmed their determination to constructively work together towards a successful outcome at COP 17 in South Africa.
V. Promotion of exchange of people
- Both sides confirmed their recognition of the importance of further promoting the exchange of people between the two countries with the aim of enhancing mutual understanding and further strengthening exchange of people in a broad range of fields between the two countries, and reaffirmed the importance of expanding exchange in culture, science and technology, education, tourism, sports and various other fields.
- Both sides confirmed with satisfaction that active cooperation between the two countries has continued over many years with regard to cultural heritage sites in the Republic of Uzbekistan, especially in the field of archaeology with regard to the discovery and preservation of ancient Buddhist ruins. Both sides also welcomed the commencement in November 2010 of cultural heritage documentation support activities related to the nomination of Silk Road sites as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO/Japan Trust Fund for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage, and the holding in 2010 in Japan and Uzbekistan of various cultural exchange events commemorating the exchange of researchers between the two countries over 20 years, including an international symposium presenting the results of joint research activities by the two countries and a traditional music festival. In this regard, the Uzbek side expressed its expectations for further cooperation between the two countries in this field in the future.
- Both sides pointed out the importance of promoting cooperation between the two countries in the field of science and technology and welcomed the establishment of international academic exchange frameworks between Japan's National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) and the Institute of Physiology and Biophysics at the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan (IPB) in October 2010 and between Japan's National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) and the National University of Uzbekistan in December 2010, respectively aimed at promoting joint research, exchange between researchers and students, and exchange of academic information and materials.
- Both sides welcomed the development of exchange between universities in the two countries in recent years, and expressed their intention of providing the necessary support for further promoting exchange in the fields of education and academia in the two countries. In this regard, both sides welcomed the establishment of the Nagoya University Uzbekistan Office in March 2010 in Tashkent as an overseas university office for shared use with the aim of promoting study abroad activities between the two countries within the framework of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Global 30 Project for Establishing Core Universities for Internationalization. Both sides also expressed expectations for the further invigoration of international student exchange and youth exchange activities between the two countries through this office in the future.
- Both sides expressed a common recognition of the importance for further solidifying the relationship between the two countries of constructing diverse and multilayered civilian exchange relationships in addition to exchange between national governments, including exchange between civil society organizations at the regional and local levels, between NGOs, and between local government authorities. In relation to this, both sides welcomed the establishment of the Nara-Uzbekistan Friendship Association within Nara University aimed at establishing partnership relations between the City of Nara, which is located at the eastern end of the Silk Road and celebrated the 1300 anniversary of the establishment of the ancient capital city of Nara Heijo-kyo in 2010, and the City of Termez, a city of ancient Buddhism on the Silk Road.
- Both sides decided to cooperate in the fields of public diplomacy, aiming at enhancing mutual interest and further promoting mutual friendship and understanding between the two countries in 2012, a milestone year marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Islam Abduganievich Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and extended his invitation to Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan, to the Republic of Uzbekistan at a mutually convenient date. Prime Minister of Japan expressed gratitude for this invitation.
Prime Minister of Japan
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Islam Abduganievich Karimov