The European Union and Japan have highlighted their common objectives for climate change research, and have pledged to further strengthen their scientific cooperation. The commitment was made following a meeting of Japanese and European researchers and science policy makers at the fourth EU-Japan workshop on climate change research in Brussels, Belgium. During the event, participants exchanged information on ongoing climate research activities under the EU Sixth Framework Programme's 'Global change and ecosystems' priority, as well as Japan's climate change research programmes. According to a joint statement: 'It was agreed that joint involvement in existing, proposed and future research projects should be encouraged in areas of common interest 'The almost in-parallel launches of the Science and Technology Basic Plan of Japan and the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU provide a unique opportunity for a deepening of cooperation by having coordinated activities of mutual interest research topics of climate change research,' the statement continues. Having underlined their commitment to increased collaboration, the two parties identified a number of emerging research themes of mutual interest relating to detection and projection of, and response to, climate change. These include: climate research policies and strategies, the carbon cycle and the measurement of other greenhouse gases, climate change projection modelling, atmospheric chemistry processes and pollution problems, impacts on water cycle and associated hazards, and response strategies to climate change. It was also recommended that agencies and institutes in the EU and Japan coordinate joint research in emerging areas according to common needs and priorities, and that joint scientific events on specific topics be organised on a regular basis to further enhance cooperation. The next Japan-EU workshop on climate change research will be held in Japan in the spring of 2009.