Action Plan: Canada-Japan 6 Shared Priorities


Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Hayashi Yoshimasa, Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, jointly announced an action plan for implementing the Canada-Japan shared priorities for contributing to a free and open Indo-Pacific region (6 shared priorities). The action plan represents a list of tangible commitments to advance Canada and Japan’s shared vision in the areas of 1) rule of law, 2) peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, 3) health security and responding to COVID-19, 4) energy security, 5) free trade promotion and trade agreement implementation, and 6) environment and climate change.

1) Rule of law: Canada and Japan strongly oppose all unilateral attempts to change the status quo, including by force. The two countries also condemn North Korea’s ongoing nuclear and missile-development activities. Canada and Japan also reaffirm their commitment to working with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and to promoting complementarities with the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Both countries will explore areas for collaboration on official development assistance policy and programming in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific. In light of Canada’s recently announced intention to join the Partners in the Blue Pacific, both countries will also seek to cooperate in supporting the Pacific Islands. In addition, Canada and Japan will collaborate in maintaining maritime order in the Arctic Ocean and continue their strong collaboration in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Indo-Pacific region. Finally, both countries plan to further their cooperation in multilateral forums to promote responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. To enhance cooperation, Canada and Japan will also launch formal negotiations on a general security of information agreement.

2) Peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief: Canada and Japan will explore opportunities for further cooperation with third countries in peacekeeping operations and are committed to sharing knowledge through Japan’s UN Triangular Partnership Programme and Canada’s Military Training Cooperation Program. Both sides confirmed their continued cooperation between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and Canadian Armed Forces, including through the Japan-Canada Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement. Canada and Japan also concurred on the need to promote the sharing of knowledge on counterterrorism and security-related issues. Both countries will continue cooperating on implementing and further advancing women, peace and security initiatives.

3) Health security and responding to COVID-19: Canada and Japan intend to enhance their coordination on providing equitable access to vaccines, tests and treatments; to promote universal health coverage; and to reinvigorate discussions on universal health coverage in relevant forums. Canada and Japan will also further cooperate in the areas of health and biosecurity in ASEAN. In addition, the two countries will explore opportunities to identify innovative solutions to mitigate serious risks posed by inadequate biological laboratories in low-resource settings.

4) Energy security: Recognizing the many factors affecting global energy security, Canada and Japan will further enhance their bilateral energy partnership by continuing to advance projects that facilitate the steady and reliable flow of Canadian energy to Japan. The two governments urge their stakeholders and officials to seize and facilitate opportunities to drive the energy transition, realize the potential of a strengthened partnership on critical minerals and collaborate on nuclear technology. Both countries expressed their strong support for the Canada-Japan Energy Policy Dialogue.

5) Free trade promotion and trade agreement implementation: Canada and Japan will continue to provide strong leadership in promoting and defending the existing international trade order. Both countries will uphold the spirit and principles of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which does not tolerate economic coercion or unfair trade practices. The two countries will continue to work together to advance all three pillars of WTO reform through various forums, including the Ottawa Group on WTO Reform. Both countries will collaborate to strengthen economic security, including by increasing the resilience of supply chains and cooperating on emerging technologies. Canada and Japan will also work to address economic coercion and to counter non-market policies and practices, such as forced technology transfers. Both governments encourage their officials to step up efforts to consult on important trade policy issues and consider coordinating actions to advance shared priorities.

6) Environment and climate change: Canada and Japan will promote cooperation with respect to climate change and the environment in the Indo-Pacific (working through the Japan-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Climate and Environment), steadfast implementation of the Paris Agreement and the reduction of marine plastic litter. Canada and Japan will continue to promote sustainable carbon-neutrality efforts, including at Expo 2025 Osaka.

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