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Toward a Renewed Canada Japan Partnership


The Canada-Japan Forum recommends:

1. That an early visit to Canada by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress take place as a symbol of the significance of the relationship of trust and friendship fostered over the years between peoples of Canada and Japan.

Politics and Diplomacy

2. That a policy be instituted of reciprocal visits by prime ministers at least every second year to ensure ongoing engagement of the partnership at the highest level. Foreign ministers should meet every year in Canada or Japan to discuss issues of common concern, and this should be complemented by annual strategic talks at the deputy ministers' level.

3. That the Bilateral Peace and Security Cooperation Symposium should establish two expert groups of officials and representatives from civil society; one to advance practical cooperation on disarmament and non-proliferation, and a second one on human security including health issues. Both should attach particular emphasis on cooperation in Asia.

4. That cooperation and dialogue on development between JICA and CIDA and among NGOs continue, with greater emphasis on common priorities of education, human rights, small business development, science and technology, and the socio-economic role of women.

5. That the Canadian and Japanese governments seek common ground and a coordinated approach towards the reform of the United Nations and, in particular, the Security Council.

Economy and Environment

6. That a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement should be the ultimate objective of the Joint Study conducted under the Economic Framework and that a clear strategy be established for follow up actions to the Joint Study expected in December 2006.

7. That the challenges of the entry of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into each other's market be addressed, and that the role of trade commissioners of Canada and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in support of SMEs be reviewed in consultation with stakeholders.

8. That laws and regulations that may hinder the development of a closer economic partnership, be reviewed and where appropriate amended, including issues relating to working visas and unemployment insurance for nationals on assignment in each other's countries and a revision of the Canada Japan Tax Treaty.

9. That governments further encourage the exchange of research on emerging agricultural, marine, and medical issues and technologies between the relevant agencies and between the universities and research institutions of both countries. One suitable area for research would be cooperation in marine environment protection.

10. That governments undertake bilateral discussions on the consequences of current changes in the global energy situation, focusing on non-traditional energy approaches.

11. That, in order to respond to the serious global warming issue, both countries work together in all environment-related fora in which they are active, to coordinate policy, and obtain broad support from the governments and the private sectors for workable solutions in the post-Kyoto framework.

12. That tourism authorities review the declining trend in two way tourism and identify measures to redress the situation, and set numerical targets for the industry's development.

People-to-People Exchanges

13. That Canada establish a system modelled after the JET program to assist in the teaching of Japanese in Canadian schools. Japan should actively promote the program in Canada, and expand the parameters of the JET program to allow retired or semi-retired Canadian English teachers to participate.

14. That the Japan Foundation expand funding available for exchanges of opinion leaders and that the Canadian Government create a parallel program.

15. That the quota of 5,000 visas a year available to young Japanese wishing to take working holidays in Canada be immediately doubled, and that Japan streamline its procedures for its working holiday programs.

16. That governments publicize sister and friendship arrangements between Canadian and Japanese cities and towns and promote the expansion of this network.

17. That exchanges between media outlets, journalists, journalism schools, and journalism students be promoted. Governments should establish an ongoing program of information tours for visiting journalists and encourage the participation of senior editors.

18. That the international cultural divisions of the Japanese and Canadian foreign ministries, the Japan Foundation and the Canada Council, convene a bilateral meeting of cultural leaders to make specific recommendations to expand bilateral cultural relations.

19. That universities and colleges of both countries create more cooperative research and development programs.

The Future

20. That, as recommended by previous Forum reports, the Forum continue with its status as a standing, non-governmental consultative body covering the full spectrum of the bilateral relationship.

21. That governments ensure the implementations of these recommendations bearing in mind the celebrations of the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2008-2009.




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