Source: New Zealand Government
Taking the New Zealand-Japan “Strategic Cooperative Partnership” to the Next Level
- Prime Minister of Japan His Excellency Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister of New Zealand the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern held a productive meeting in Tokyo on 19th September 2019. Acknowledging that the upward trajectory of the bilateral relationship was the result of intensive efforts on both sides, the two leaders expressed their ambition to further strengthen the Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Japan and New Zealand which is founded on common values such as freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights, as well as a strong commitment to peace and security, free trade and investment and sustainable development.
- Noting the positive characterisation of the bilateral defence relationship in both Japan’s National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2019 and Beyond and New Zealand’s Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the security and defence relationship. In this context the two leaders welcomed Japan and New Zealand commencing a joint study towards negotiating a security information sharing agreement between Japan and New Zealand.
- The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the partnership in food and agriculture between the two countries, based on positive bilateral agriculture cooperation activities in recent years.
- The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement, including holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. They welcomed renewable energy sector cooperation between Japan and New Zealand, including advancing cooperation outlined in the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Hydrogen signed in October 2018. They recognised that Japan and New Zealand will continue to work together to address climate change domestically and internationally.
- Meeting on the eve of the Rugby World Cup 2019, the two leaders welcomed the development of bilateral cooperation in sports, which has been facilitated through the MOC in the field of sport signed in May 2017. The two leaders expressed their high hopes for expanding people-to-people linkages through the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the World Masters Games 2021 Kansai to be hosted in Japan. The two leaders welcomed New Zealand’s extension of access to eGate for Japanese nationals, which came into effect from 2nd September 2019, contributing to people-to-people exchange.
- The two leaders reiterated their commitment to working proactively together to maintain and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region for ensuring a free, open and rules-based international order.
- The two leaders highlighted their commitment to working with Pacific Island countries in support of Pacific priorities under Japan’s “Active, Opportunity-filled, and Innovative (AOI) Future” with Pacific Island countries and New Zealand’s Pacific Reset. The two leaders welcomed reinvigorated Pacific Consultations and decided to develop a Joint Declaration to strengthen coordination and cooperation between Japan and New Zealand in the Pacific, for Foreign Ministers to issue at the earliest opportunity. They welcomed steady progress in cooperation between Japan and New Zealand in the Pacific, especially in the areas of climate change, maritime issues and infrastructure, which are important priorities for Pacific Island countries. Progress includes collaborations such as the Pacific Climate Change Centre in Samoa, a maritime law enforcement capacity building program at the University of the South Pacific, support for the Our Ocean Conference in 2020 in Palau, supporting electrification in Papua New Guinea. They also welcomed that, in mid-2020, Japan will hold the Fourth Ministerial Interim Meeting of the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in a Pacific Island country for the first time. The Prime Ministers decided to promote quality infrastructure investment in accordance with the “G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment”. The two leaders also emphasised their mutual commitment to combatting marine plastic waste.
- The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the goals of the international community, and urged North Korea to comply with its international obligations and abandon all its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and all ballistic missiles in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. They emphasised their shared commitment to fully implementing and upholding all relevant UNSCRs. Prime Minister Ardern expressed her support for Japan’s efforts to resolve the abductions issue.
- The leaders called on all parties to uphold international law, freedom of navigation and overflight and to ensure unimpeded trade while avoiding any actions that could increase tensions and erode regional trust and confidence, including land reclamation, building of outposts, construction and militarisation.
- The two leaders raised concerns about the situation in the South China Sea. They reiterated the importance of settling disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS.) The two leaders encouraged the finalisation of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct (COC) that is consistent with existing international law, including UNCLOS, and does not impinge on the rights or interests of third parties.
- The two leaders shared their intention to remain in close communication about the situation in the East China Sea, and expressed concern about any unilateral actions which increase tensions in the area.
- The two leaders expressed their continued support for maintaining and strengthening the global economic system, through implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and conclusion of a high quality, comprehensive Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement by the end of 2019. Prime Minister Abe expressed his support for the success of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2021 hosted by New Zealand.
- The two leaders reiterated their commitment to working together to address systemic issues currently facing the WTO including the Appellate Body impasse, and to the conclusion of the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations in 2019. They confirmed their resolve against all forms of protectionism including all unfair trade practices.
- Prime Minister Ardern recognised the important initiatives Japan is taking on women’s empowerment such as the World Assembly for Women. Acknowledging the valuable role that trade can play in advancing women’s economic empowerment, the two leaders exchanged views on trade and gender issues and on how Japan and New Zealand could work together to explore cooperative initiatives with other likeminded countries.
- The two leaders shared the importance of developing and strengthening the rules-based system in new domains such as cyberspace and outer space, and they confirmed their shared interests in continuing to closely cooperate in these areas. The two leaders committed to continuing to implement the Christchurch Call to Action with the aim of eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online. They also decided to enhance their efforts for a free, open and secure cyberspace, including through cooperation in multilateral frameworks and a bilateral cyber security dialogue. On outer space, the two leaders confirmed the importance of implementing the Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities and took note of ongoing discussions on a bilateral memorandum on the registration of space objects. They expressed a desire to expand space cooperation between the two countries. For this purpose, they encouraged discussions on a possible partnership arrangement on bilateral space cooperation.