BRUSSELS, April 25 (KUNA) -- The European Union and Japan affirmed their commitment to contributing jointly to advancing international peace and stability and multilateralism.
During their 26th summit here on Thursday, both sides focused on the implementation of two landmark agreements concluded last year, the EU-Japan Strategic Partnership and Economic Partnership Agreements.
"We, the leaders of the European Union and Japan, reaffirm our resolve to work together for peace, security, sustainable development and prosperity, based on respect for international law," said a joint statement after the summit this evening.
The statement reiterated support for the Iran nuclear deal and reaffirmed their commitments to addressing the issues of the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement by North Korea of its nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and its ballistic missile programmes.
They called for an early resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and condemned Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.
"We are committed to stepping up our dialogue and cooperation on security and defence, in particular in the areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism, cyber security," said the statement.
Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, President of the European Council, Donald Tusk said, "We discussed the G20 Summit in Osaka. I would like to express full European support for Japanese leadership. Japan can count on the EU. We will do our best to make the Summit a success."
"We also look forward to intensifying security and defence cooperation, in the fields of counter-terrorism, cyber and maritime security, and crisis management. The recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka are a reminder that the terrorist threat affects us all. Combating it together remains a top priority," he stressed.
On his part, Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, told the joint press conference, "The most important subject for the international community is to maintain the free trade regime."
"We agreed to cooperate with the EU and the G20 to send and strong message to the international community to promote a free trade and towards the WTO reform," he added.
Expressing similar views, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said, "This is a truly historic time for Japan, with its current presidency of the G20 and the accession of Crown Prince Naruhito as Emperor next week."
"Our new Economic Partnership Agreement is a landmark moment for global trade. The vast majority of the 1 billion euro (USD 1.1 billion) of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan and vice-versa have been removed. This will help trade between us increase by up to nearly 36 billion euro (USD 40 billion)" he added. (end)