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E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/01/2026 TAGS: PREL, ETRD, ECON, MEPP, EUN, KNUC, UNSC, BO, UP, RS, CH, JA SUBJECT: 15TH JAPAN-EU SUMMIT: FOCUS ON POLITICAL AND SECURITY ISSUES
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor W. Michael Meserve. Reason : 1.4 (b)(d).
1. (C) SUMMARY. The 15th Japan-EU Summit on April 24 in Tokyo highlighted the maturing Japan-EU partnership. During the Summit:
-- PM Koizumi stressed three points: his concern about low public awareness of the Japan-EU relationship, his desire to enhance the strategic dialogue on East Asia's security environment and his plans to enhance people-to-people exchanges;
-- Over EU objections, Japan unilaterally reaffirmed Japan's strong opposition to the EU lifting its arms embargo on China in the joint statement;
-- The Summit leaders jointly expressed their deep concern over Iran's uranium enrichment activities while reaffirming their support for a peaceful and diplomatic solution;
-- The Summit leaders urged Russia to play a responsible role in global energy security, and that they hoped to strengthen their partnership with Russia based around the shared values; and
-- The Summit leaders also addressed tax treaties, aviation agreements, UN reform and the Japan-EURATOM Agreement, which was signed this past February after ten years of negotiations. End Summary.
2. (C) Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, in his capacity as President of the European Council, High Representative Javier Solana and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's visit to Japan on April 24 for the 15th Japan-EU Summit further developed the "maturing" Japan-EU relationship and highlighted the EU's growing trend of looking outward, MOFA European Policy Division Director Norio Maruyama told Embassy Tokyo Political Officers on April 26. The planned one-hour discussion and one hour working lunch was extended to over five hours, addressing all the objectives within the Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation adopted in 2001. A sign of the evolving relationship, Maruyama noted that the first summit held in 1991 was 90% focused on economic issues, in contrast to this year's summit, which was 70% political in nature.
PM Koizumi's Three Key Points
3. (C) Going into the Summit, Prime Minister Koizumi had
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three specific points he wished to stress, Maruyama explained.
-- Prime Minister Koizumi raised his concern that the many avenues of Japan-EU cooperation did not receive enough public visibility.
-- Koizumi explored ways to enhance the strategic dialogue on East Asia's security environment with a view to establishing a Strategic Partnership. Maruyama spoke positively about the strategic dialogue that was launched last year with Director General-level talks in September and expert-level discussions in early December that also included defense ministry representatives. Both sides agreed to continue and further develop this dialogue and to add a similar dialogue focused on Central Asia.
-- Koizumi focused on enhancing the people-to-people exchanges between Japan and EU member countries. Maruyama proudly noted that exchanges under the Framework Initiative for Exchange Networks and Dialogues (FRIEND) numbered 1,900 in 2005, and that Koizumi is now pushing for a target of bringing 4,000 Europeans to Japan each year. This target number would incorporate all public and private sector exchanges. The Japan Foundation has been asked to join the program with the aim of targeting businessmen, intellectuals, tourists, young people and experts. The EU side welcomed all three of Koizumi's points, Maruyama stated.
Joint Statements on the Middle East
4. (C) PM Koizumi sought a strong on Iran in the joint statement, Maruyama emphasized. Koizumi expressed his appreciation for European efforts to find a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiation, and the Summit leaders jointly expressed their concern over the recent uranium enrichment activities by the Iranian government, Maruyama said. Additionally, since the news of the formation of the new Iraqi government broke on April 23, a day before the Summit, the Summit leaders took this opportunity to jointly welcome the election of the speaker of the National Assembly and the re-election of the President as well as the appointment of the new Prime Minister. There was minimal discussion on Iraq, Maruyama noted, since it was "not an easy topic for the EU to agree on." As for the Middle East Peace Process, Maruyama highlighted the leaders' focus on addressing the basic human needs of the Palestinian population. They kept pressure on Hamas by reiterating support for settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "based on existing agreements."
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East Asian Security
5. (C) Maruyama was emphatic that Japan remains strongly opposed to the lifting of the EU arms embargo on China, calling it "very worrisome" and a "serious concern." He confided that the EU wanted to strike any reference to the issue from the joint statement since "it is not a primary issue for EU states." However, Japan insisted on including language -- even though it was "unilateral" language so as to avoid any appearance that they were softening. In the end, the EU agreed to include the same language from the previous year's statement (i.e., "Japan reiterated its opposition to the lifting of the EU's arms embargo on China."). Maruyama believes the EU's hesitance to discuss this issue highlights Europe's lack of understanding of the security situation in Asia, which he feels stems in part from the geographic distance between the regions. While the Summit leaders did not touch upon the actual arms embargo issue, he continued, they did discuss the security environment in East Asia. Maruyama reported that Koizumi hoped that underscoring the military environment in East Asia would foster a greater understanding by the EU of Japan's position. PM Koizumi also requested the EU's support on the DPRK abduction issue. The EU responded with a strong statement of continued support for all efforts intended to lead to a settlement.
Praise for Ukraine, Concerns on Russia and Belarus
7. (C) PM Koizumi raised his concerns about recent troubling Russian actions, such as cutting off gas to the Ukraine, adding the Prime Minister felt this was particularly problematic as Russia will host the G-8 Summit this year, Maruyama confided. The EU leaders and Japan were reportedly in agreement that Russia needs to play a responsible role in global energy security, and that they hoped to strengthen their partnership with Russia by stressing shared values. The Summit leaders also agreed on to continue to encourage democracy in Ukraine as well as to state their opposition to the forceful detention of peaceful demonstrators by the Belarusian authorities, Maruyama said. The Western Balkans demonstrates successful cooperation between Japan and the EU, Maruyama observed. Koizumi underscored Japan's commitment to peacebuilding through technical assistance and ODA in the region, and its intention to continue working with the EU to further enhance stability, democracy and sustainable development there.
Renegotiating Outdated Bilateral Tax Treaties
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8. (C) Japan is concerned about the inability to establish a comprehensive bilateral tax treaty with the EU due to the EU's lack of legal authority to negotiate such matters on behalf of member states, Maruyama explained. Consequently, Japan must negotiate separate bilateral tax treaties with each member state in order to modernize outdated bilateral tax treaties provisions. Maruyama cited tax withholdings on royalty payments as one problem area. Japan currently has 17 bilateral tax treaties with various EU member states inked in the 1960s and 1970s, Maruyama explained, and hoped to accelerate the process of updating them based on the U.S.-Japan Tax treaty model.
UN Reform Language Debated
9. (C) Because of differences within the EU on UN reform, an particularly on UNSC reform, both sides had to make concessions in formulating joint statement language on the issue, Maruyama said. The final text stated that the "Summit leaders underlined the importance of implementing the on-going reform process adopted at the UN Summit, notably the reform of main UN bodies." Japan succeeded on inserting "notably" instead of the EU's preferred formulation of "including," Maruyama explained. Japan allowed the reference of "all UN bodies" to remain vague.
10. (C) Maruyama pointed to signing of the Japan-EURATOM Agreement in February 2006 as a major achievement following ten years of negotiation. The agreement has made it easier for Japan to export nuclear materials to EU member states, Maruyama explained. The Summit leaders welcomed this major step forward in EU-Japan cooperation. Prior to this agreement, Japan only had bilateral treaties with France and the United Kingdom, and an agreement with Belgium, Maruyama noted. The new comprehensive agreement covers exports to all 25-member states, as well as any components exported out of the EU to a third party.
Aviation Issues, Bilateral is Bilateral
11. (C) In response to the Political Officers' inquiry if there had been any contentious Summit-related "issues," Maruyama remarked that division of competence between the EU and its member countries on aviation matters was affecting
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Japan. Japan currently has bilateral aviation treaties with individual member states; however, the EU has expressed its desire to allow bilaterally agreed upon aviation routes to be utilized by other member states, explained Maruyama. (He used the hypothetical example of a Luxembourg carrier with a route between Luxembourg and Frankfurt then using the route between Frankfurt and Tokyo, despite the fact that Japan and Luxembourg do not have a bilateral aviation agreement). Japan's position is that these treaties are to remain solely between Japan and the individual member states; any change in allowed routes must be a result of negotiations between Japan and the individual member state, Maruyama stressed. DONOVAN