Meeting between Foreign Minister Gemba and the Hon. John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada, and the Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade
March 25, 2012
- On Sunday, March 25, Foreign Minister Gemba held a meeting with the Hon. John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada, and the Hon. Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, for approximately 40 minutes from 10 a.m.(JST). The outline of the meeting is as follows:
- Minister Gemba stated that he was pleased that the leaders of Japan and Canada would be able to announce the launch of bilateral EPA negotiations. In response, Minister Baird and Minister Fast stated that Japan was one of the most important trade partners of Canada and that they would instruct officials in charge to have vigorous consultations on the issue.
- Both sides exchanged their opinions on the state of consultations with the countries concerned toward participating in the TPP negotiations and how both countries could strengthen cooperation in the field of energy and other natural resources including private-sector cooperation in connection to Canada's liquefied natural gas (LNG).
- Both sides welcomed progress in Japan-Canada security cooperation such as the completion of amendments to the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the use of airports and facilities in Japan by Canadian military aircraft on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.
- Minister Gemba, with regards to North Korea's launch of a missile, which it calls "satellite", pointed out that this would be a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions and stated the importance of close cooperation between countries concerned. Moreover, Minister Gemba requested Canada's understanding and cooperation for resolving the abduction issue. Foreign Minister Baird stated that Canada would cooperate with Japan on this matter as a friend.
- Related to the Iranian nuclear issue, Minister Gemba stated that Japan shared the concerns of international society over this issue and explained Japan's position. In response, Foreign Minister Baird stated that this was the biggest concern on security and that Canada appreciated Japan's efforts.
- Minister Gemba asked Foreign Minister Baird to participate in a ministerial conference on Afghanistan that is to be hosted by Japan in Tokyo this July and High-Level International Conference on Large-Scale Natural Disasters to be held in the area affected by the earthquake.
- In addition, both sides had an exchange of opinions on space cooperation, disarmament and non-proliferation, the current situation in Syria, and so on.
- (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
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