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Procedure : 2014/2021(INI)
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Document selected : A7-0244/2014

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PV 17/04/2014 - 8
CRE 17/04/2014 - 8

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PV 17/04/2014 - 9.11
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Texts adopted
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Thursday, 17 April 2014 - Strasbourg
Negotiation of the EU-Japan strategic partnership agreement

European Parliament resolution of 17 April 2014 containing the European Parliament’s recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service on the negotiations of the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership agreement (2014/2021(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the first bilateral summit held in the Hague in 1991 and to the adoption of a joint declaration on EC-Japan relations,

–  having regard to the 10th bilateral summit held in Brussels in 2001 and the adoption of the EU-Japan action plan entitled ‘Shaping our common future’, including the objectives of promoting peace and security, strengthening the economic and trade partnership, coping with global and societal challenges, and bringing together people and cultures,

–  having regard to the negotiations authorised by the Council on 29 November 2012 and opened in Brussels on 25 March 2013 on an EU-Japan strategic partnership agreement,

–  having regard to the negotiations launched on 25 March 2013 on an EU-Japan free trade agreement,

–  having regard to the 21st EU-Japan summit held in Tokyo on 19 November 2013,

–  having regard to the Guidelines on the EU’s Foreign and Security Policy in East Asia, which were approved by the Council on 15 June 2012,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 3 February 2009 on Second Strategic Energy Review(1) and of 24 March 2011 on the situation in Japan, particularly the state of alert at the nuclear power stations(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 October 2010 on the EU strategic objectives for the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to be held in Nagoya (Japan) from 18 to 29 October 2010(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 February 2012 on the death penalty in Japan(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 May 2011 on EU-Japan trade relations(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 December 2013 containing the European Parliament’s recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service on the negotiations for an EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement(6),

–  having regard to the catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami which devastated significant parts of Japan’s coast on 11 March 2011 and led to the destruction of the Fukushima nuclear power plant,

–  having regard to Rules 90(4) and 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A7-0244/2014),

A.  whereas Japan has been an EU strategic partner since 2003;

B.  whereas the EU and Japan share the special responsibility for fostering peace, stability and prosperity in a rapidly changing world;

C.  whereas the EU and Japan already cooperate in a number of fields such as customs cooperation and legal assistance in criminal matters, science and technology, internet security, academic and research cooperation, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, business community contacts and the promotion of people-to-people links;

D.  whereas the EU and Japan share the values of democracy, the rule of law and the promotion of human rights, all of which should form the core part of any agreement between the two parties, aiming to provide a solid framework for that relationship;

E.  whereas Japan’s contribution to international security and stability has increased, with the country being a Proactive Contributor to Peace, based on the principle of international cooperation;

F.  whereas Japan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) signed their first joint political declaration in April 2013, and referred to crisis management, disaster relief efforts, peace support operations, cyberdefence and maritime security as possible areas of cooperation;

G.  whereas Japan is also an active member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Bank (AFDB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and many other specialised UN agencies, as well as the Asia‑Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD); whereas Japan is also a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since its establishment in 1995, and is a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the Group of Eight (G8) and the Group of Twenty (G20);

H.  whereas tensions exist between Japan and its neighbours China, Russia and South Korea over islands in East Asia’s maritime areas;

1.  Addresses the following recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service:


On the strategic partnership agreement negotiations

   (a) to further elevate EU-Japan relations through the timely conclusion of the negotiations on a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement; to define a genuine strategic dimension for the agreement that highlights the unique aspects of EU-Japan relations;
   (b) to aim at providing a long-standing framework for a closer relationship contributing considerably to the deepening of political, economic and cultural relations with tangible results for the citizens of both regions, and to pay special attention to the global coordination of economic policies;
   (c) to increase significantly the number and coverage of bilateral cooperation and sectoral dialogues;

Political dialogue

   (d) to reaffirm shared values, common goals and responsibilities for the promotion of global peace, stability, parliamentary democracy, sustainable development and a strong multilateral system; to continue working together towards the strengthening and reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council; to recognise that the increasingly multipolar world is characterised by the growing political significance of a multitude of regional and national players, including the EU and Japan, and to demand enhanced cooperation and coordination in the international arena;
   (e) to deepen and enhance cooperation on political, security and peace matters, including information sharing, the non-proliferation, disarmament and elimination of weapons of mass destruction, cybersecurity and the fight against international crime, such as the trafficking of humans and drugs, piracy and terrorism;
   (f) to commit, as the leading donors of global development assistance, to closer cooperation and coordination in developing policies and interventions in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, where the aspect of human security is essential;
   (g) to explore the scope of enhancing cooperation on global security issues, including on crisis management and peacekeeping efforts;
   (h) to cooperate on civilian crisis management, civil protection, response to natural and man-made disasters, humanitarian assistance and post-crisis reconstruction initiatives; to strengthen bilateral and international cooperation in disaster risk reduction;
   (i) to express the great concern of the Member States over the devastating consequences of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe; to urge the Japanese Government to inform the international community as precisely and comprehensively as possible of available data on the situation at the reactor site and on the levels of pollution;
   (j) to facilitate jointly collaboration in other multilateral arena, such as the UN, the G8, the G20, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF); to make joint efforts to promote global economic recovery, job creation and multilateral trade rules;
   (k) to increase concrete cooperation on security-related projects in strategic regions, such as the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, building upon successful cooperation to date;
   (l) to cooperate on the implementation of the Rio + 20 UN conference decisions to achieve sustainable development;

Regional dialogues

   (m) to support the integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and to stress the role of the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit in promoting mutual understanding in Asia and also bringing dialogue partners from outside the region, including the EU;
   (n) to emphasise the fact that Japan’s relationship with its neighbours is pivotal for stability and security in East Asia and global security in general;
   (o) to recall that stability and détente in East Asia is also in the best interest of Europe; to encourage all parties concerned to settle the tensions in the East China Sea through peaceful dialogue based on international law and conventions; to refrain from any use, or threat of use, of force and agree on de‑escalating measures of engagement in the event of unforeseen incidents; to highlight the importance of confidence-building and preventive diplomacy; to stress the fact that the freedom of international navigation is critical to international trade and must be respected;
   (p) to continue to work towards long-lasting peace and security in a nuclear weapons‑free Korean peninsula, and to urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to abandon all existing nuclear programmes;

Human rights and fundamental freedoms

   (q) to reaffirm the shared values of respect for human rights, democracy, fundamental freedoms, good governance and the rule of law, and to work together for the global promotion and protection of these values;
   (r) to enter into a dialogue with the Japanese Government on a moratorium on capital punishment with a view to its eventual abolition;
   (s) to promote gender equality as a crucial element of democracy;
   (t) to negotiate a provision in the agreement including reciprocal conditionality and political clauses on human rights and democracy, reconfirming the mutual commitment to these values; to adopt appropriate safeguards to ensure the stability of the agreement and that such a provision cannot be abused by either side; to insist that such conditionality should form part of the Strategic Partnership Agreement with Japan, in the spirit of the EU’s common approach on the matter;

Economic, environmental, scientific and cultural cooperation

   (u) to incorporate an extensive framework on cooperation in science, technology, business and research so as to enhance the potential for innovation; to cooperate in finding innovative solutions to questions of transport;
   (v) to explore possibilities for closer cooperation on satellite navigation systems;
   (w) to intensify bilateral trade and cooperation on policies promoting safe, secure and sustainable energy, energy efficiency, renewable energies, nuclear safety regulatory frameworks and nuclear facility stress tests, energy research including the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project and carbon capture;
   (x) to further cooperate in finding an urgent, comprehensive and sustainable global response to climate change, including through deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions by all parties;
   (y) to cooperate in the sustainable management of fish stocks;
   (z) to promote cooperation on global governance and research into rare earth and other critical raw materials;
   (aa) to stress that cyberspace is important in promoting the freedom of expression and equitable social development;
   (ab) to promote public awareness and visibility of both parties in each other’s territory; to intensify bilateral cultural, academic, youth, people-to-people and sports exchanges;
   (ac) to exchange experiences and best practices on responding to the needs of an aging and active society;
   (ad) to address health as a particular area of cooperation and a joint endeavour by establishing means to combine and exchange the best available medical knowledge, including biotechnology, in order to respond to the health challenges of aging societies;

Other provisions

   (ae) to consult Parliament regarding the provisions on parliamentary cooperation;
   (af) to include clear benchmarks and binding deadlines for the implementation of the strategic partnership agreement and to provide for monitoring mechanisms, including regular reports to Parliament;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution containing the European Parliament’s recommendation to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service and the Government and National Diet of Japan.

(1) OJ C 67 E, 18.3.2010, p. 16.
(2) OJ C 247 E, 17.8.2012, p. 20.
(3) OJ C 371 E, 20.12.2011, p. 14.
(4) OJ C 249 E, 30.8.2013, p. 63.
(5) OJ C 377 E, 7.12.2012, p. 19.
(6) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0532.

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