Japan-Greece Joint Action Plan
Seizing the unique occasion, marked by the first ever official visit of a Greek Prime Minister to Japan in the history of Japanese-Greek relations, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis reaffirmed the political commitments expressed in the Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation (hereinafter referred to as the EU-Japan Action Plan) adopted on 8 December 2001 and issued the following Action Plan, taking into consideration the specific factors in the Japanese-Greek bilateral relationship.|
Both sides expressed their hope that the document, along with the EU-Japan Action Plan, offer a new impetus to their bilateral relations and, moreover, they confirmed their determination to further deepen and widen their relationship in the widest range of fields, such as politics, economy and culture.
A. POLITICAL COOPERATION
Welcoming the recent development of high-level exchanges of visits and political consultations between two countries, both sides expressed their will to establish a framework for regular high-level political consultations between the Foreign Ministries and review the implementation of this Joint Action Plan through these consultations.
I. REGIONAL ISSUES
In the framework of the political consultations, both sides expressed their readiness to exchange views on developments in the regions of interest to both countries, inter alia, in Asia including Korean Peninsula, Europe including the Balkan Peninsula and the East Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
In the Balkan Peninsula in particular, the Japanese side expressed its high evaluation of the Greek initiative for its role in the region and the Greek side reiterated its high appreciation of Japan's political and economic contribution to the peace and development of the region. Both sides reaffirmed that they share the view that wider and deeper cooperation for the solution of the Balkan issues bilaterally and multilaterally, based on the United Nations Charter and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, will contribute to the promotion of peace, security and prosperity in the region. Both sides reiterated that all arising disputes should be solved peacefully through political dialogue, and condemned all forms of ethnic nationalist and separatist violence. Both sides expressed their will to further exchange their views on the principles, on which these solutions of disputes should be based, including human rights, rules of law and democracy. As regards the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M), the two sides welcomed the recent developments and expressed their will to cooperate and consult with each other working towards full normalization of the situation within this country.
As regards Cyprus, the Greek side appreciated the Japanese financial contribution to the UNFICYP peacekeeping mission and the inclusion of the Cyprus issue in the EU-Japan Action Plan. The Japanese side welcomed the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus as well as those of the other candidate countries towards accession to EU and, furthermore, the two sides welcomed the direct talks under the auspices of Secretary-General of the United Nations aiming at a comprehensive settlement consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The Greek side, assuming the Presidency of the EU for the first half of 2003, expressed its determination to spare no effort to push forward the implementation of EU-Japan Action Plan and work towards further engaging Europe in Asian affairs. The Japanese side expressed its determination to work closely with Greece during its EU Presidency.
II. GLOBAL ISSUES
Condemning the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001 as despicable and unforgivable acts that endanger the peace and security of all countries, both sides reiterated their strong will to fight against terrorism as described in the EU-Japan Joint Declaration on Terrorism adopted on 8 December 2001 in Brussels.
Both sides confirmed their adherence to international law and the principle of peaceful resolution of disputes and, being both maritime nations, availed themselves of this occasion to reconfirm their compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
B. ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Both sides affirmed their intention to intensify dialogue by working together towards establishing a bilateral framework for economic cooperation at an appropriate level to be convened on a regular basis, with participation of private sectors by invitation, in order to promote two-way trade and investment by exploring areas for further cooperation and identifying measures to remove obstacles and disincentives.
Both sides recognized the important role of the "Hermes Plan" and its contribution to the development of the Japanese-Greek economic relations. The Japanese side expressed its willingness to support the Greek efforts to make this plan fully incorporated into Greek economic policy, where possible, and more action-oriented.
Being both maritime nations, both sides appreciated important ties and cooperation between the Greek shipping community and the Japanese shipbuilding industry.
Both sides reconfirmed that the tourism promotion authorities of both countries will co-ordinate their efforts in order to increase tourism in both directions. In this connection, both sides welcomed the tourism promotion conference of last April. The Greek side expressed their intention to send a follow-up mission to the next conference which will be held in Tokyo this year. Both sides welcomed the "Record of Discussions" made between the aeronautical authorities of Japan and Greece on 29 May 2001 in Athens.
The Japanese side expressed its expectation that Greece will play an enhanced role in furthering economic development of South-eastern Europe, especially in view of the recent introduction of the euro.
C. CULTURAL COOPERATION
Referring to the respective part of the EU-Japan Action Plan regarding the importance of promoting mutual respect and peaceful coexistence of cultures, both sides, as guardians of very important and ancient cultures, reiterated their will to cooperate closely to promote cultural exchanges. They noted further that the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and a Cultural Olympiad program offer a great opportunity to this end.
Both sides expressed their readiness to cooperate closely to organize "Greek Months" in Japan and "Japanese Months" in Greece, to be held in the run up to the year of 2004 Games. The Greek side explained the initiative of "Olympiakh Ekeheiria" (Olympic Truce) as contributing to world peace and its intention to work towards its realization during the 2004 Games, and the Japanese side paid respect to the Greek initiative.
In the field of academic cooperation, both sides acknowledged that the teaching and research of the other country at universities and other educational and research institutes will contribute greatly to the improvement of bilateral ties. Both parties reaffirmed their will to work closely towards this end.
Both sides recognized the importance of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (J.E.T) as a means of bringing their respective people closer and expressed their hope for cooperation through this framework.
Tokyo, March 4, 2002