Japan and European Union hold 21st Summit in Tokyo

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso met on Tuesday in Tokyo for the 21st summit between Japan and the European Union.

Attendees held a "frank discussion" on a range of issues that demonstrated shared values and principles between Japan and the EU, such as democracy, human rights, gender equality, common security interests and economic interdependence.

Summit leaders said they are determined to continue strengthening political and economic relationships between Japan and the EU, which have grown since the 1991 Joint Declaration and the 2001 Action Plan. They said worldwide changes caused their relationship to develop on a more strategic plane.

The leaders said continued progress in negotiations for a Strategic Partnership Agreement, Economic Partnership Agreement and Free Trade Agreement will help Japan and the EU realize the full potential of political and economic ties for mutual benefit. They said investor confidence is returning in Japan and the EU, and trade, investment, research and innovation are required for sustainable growth.

Summit leaders recognized steps taken by Japan and the EU to support global recovery and ensure sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. They said continued cooperation in negotiation of the Trade in Services Agreement was vital to supporting growth and stability.The leaders also committed to working together more closely to advance global interests, such as reaffirming gender equality, encouraging cyberspace security, acting on climate change and achieving safe, affordable and sustainable energy sources.

Summit leaders recommitted to increase cooperation between Japan and the EU on security issues. They discussed the establishment of a National Security Council, the development of a National Security Strategy and reviewed National Defence Programme Guidelines and the legal basis for security in exercising the right of self-defense.