Press Conference 29 March 2005

  1. Recent earthquake in Republic of Indonesia
  2. Telephone conversation between Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura and Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan
  3. Dispatch of survey team to Israel and the Palestinian Autonomous Areas
  4. FY2004 yen loan to People's Republic of China
  5. Japanese assistance to support the African Union's initiative in Darfur
  6. Yen loan to Republic of Armenia for Yerevan Combined Cycle Co-Generation Power Plant Project
  7. Debt reduction for yen loan to Lao People's Democratic Republic
  8. Yen loan to Ukraine for Boryspil State International Airport Development Project
  9. Grant assistance to Syrian Arab Republic for Development of New Water Resources for Damascus City
  10. Questions concerning earthquake in Indonesia
  11. Question concerning possible visit by Foreign Minister Machimura to China

  1. Recent earthquake in Republic of Indonesia

    Press Secretary Hatsuhisa Takashima: Good afternoon and thank you very much for coming to the briefing. Today, I would like to make several announcements before I take questions.

    The first announcement is about the most recent earthquake which hit the Republic of Indonesia.

    In the wake of another major earthquake that occurred at 23:10 on 28 March (local time) off the coast of Sumatra Island and registered 8.5 on the Richter scale, the Government of Japan is prepared to dispatch a Japan Disaster Relief team and to send relief materials and equipment in response to possible requests from countries concerned.

    According to the ad hoc office of the Japanese Embassy in Banda Aceh, there are heavy casualties reported on Nias Island, west of Sumatra Island. However, there is no report of Japanese casualties so far caused by the earthquake. On the other hand, the Meteorological Agency of Japan informed the nations concerned of tsunami information approximately one hour after the earthquake.

    Related Information (Japan-Indonesia Relations)

  2. Telephone conversation between Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura and Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan

    Mr. Takashima: The second announcement is about the telephone conversation between Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura and Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan.

    Foreign Minister Machimura had a telephone conversation with UN Secretary-General Annan last night to express his sense of appreciation and welcome towards the recent report on United Nations reform by the Secretary-General.

    Foreign Minister Machimura also stated that he intends to closely cooperate with Secretary-General Annan to realize the reform of the United Nations and of the UN Security Council and that he would like to welcome the Secretary-General to Japan at a time convenient to Secretary-General Annan.

    In return, Secretary-General Annan said that he would consult with Japan and other countries in making efforts to achieve the reform of the UN Security Council and that he wished to visit Japan approximately once a year.

    Related Information (Japan and the United Nations)

  3. Dispatch of survey team to Israel and the Palestinian Autonomous Areas

    Mr. Takashima: The third announcement is about support for the Palestinian economic effort.

    The Government of Japan will dispatch a survey team to Israel and the Palestinian Autonomous Areas to support the Palestinian effort to achieve economic self-support.

    The team will meet with the officials of the Israeli Government, the Palestinian Authority and international organizations including the World Bank, UN Development Programme and UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

    The team intends to draw mid- and long-term plans of Japanese assistance for the new economic development program for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian autonomous government.

    Related Information (Japan-Palestinian Authorities Relations)
    Related Information (Japan-Israel Relations)

  4. FY2004 yen loan to People's Republic of China

    Mr. Takashima: The fourth announcement is about the yen loan to the People's Republic of China.

    The Government of Japan has decided to extend to the Government of China a yen loan totaling 85.875 billion yen (or approximately US$870 million) with a view to extending assistance based on the Economic Cooperation Program for China for the fiscal year 2004 that ends on 31 March 2005.

    Notes to this effect were exchanged on 29 March in Beijing between Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Dawei of China.

    This yen loan includes funds for projects to improve the overall water environment of Xian City and other cities in Shaanxi Province (up to about 27.3 billion yen for the Shaanxi Water Environmental Improvement Project); to improve the overall water environment of Changsha City (up to about 20 billion yen for the Hunan Changsha Water Environmental Improvement Project); to reduce water pollution in Guiyang City in Guizhou Province (up to about 12.1 billion yen for the Guizhou Guiyang Water Environmental Improvement Project); to reduce contaminants in the atmospheric environment in Baotou City in Inner Mongolia (up to about 8.5 billion yen for the Inner Mongolia Baotou Atmospheric Environmental Improvement Project); to carry out afforestation to reduce soil runoff and preserve the ecosystem in Sichuan (up to about 6.5 billion yen for the Sichuan Eco-environmental Construction Project); to improve the overall living environment of Yining City in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region (up to about 6.5 billion yen for the Xinjiang Yining Environmental Improvement Project); and to improve the educational facilities of eight universities in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (up to about 85.9 billion yen for the Inner Mongolia Higher Education Project).

    The terms and conditions of this loan will be an interest rate of either 0.75% or 1.5% per annum with a repayment period of either 40 or 30 years (including a 10-year grace period) and the procurement method is general untied.

    With this loan, the total amount of the yen loan that Japan has extended to China, including the Special Yen Loan will be 3.133056 trillion yen on an Exchange-of-Notes basis. Japan is planning to phase out the new yen loans to China by the time of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

    Related Information (FY2004 Yen Loan to China)

  5. Japanese assistance to support the African Union's initiative in Darfur

    Mr. Takashima: The fifth announcement is about assistance for the initiative in Darfur.

    The Government of Japan has decided to contribute US$2 million to the African Union (AU) to support the initiative with respect to the conflict in Darfur as a part of Japan's initiative on "consolidation of peace" in Africa. This contribution will be used to support the Joint Commission and Ceasefire Commission of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), the Darfur Integrated Task Force (DITF), the N'Djamena Liaison Office and the Abuja Talks.

    Related Information (Japan's Assistance to Support the African Union's Initiative in Darfur)

  6. Yen loan to Republic of Armenia for Yerevan Combined Cycle Co-Generation Power Plant Project

    Mr. Takashima: The next announcement is about the yen loan to the Republic of Armenia.

    The Government of Japan decided to provide a yen loan of 15.9 billion yen (approximately US$150 million) to the Government of Armenia to be used for the Yerevan Combined Cycle Co-Generation Power Plant Project.

    With this project, the new power plant will be provided to supply electricity and heat energy to improve the living conditions of the people in the southern part of the city of Yerevan.

    At the same time, the Government of Japan will provide grant assistance of 290 million yen (approximately US$2.5 million) to the Government of Armenia for the project for the Improvement of Obstetrical Service to reduce fatalities of pregnant women and newborn babies in the country.

    Related Information (Japan-Armenia Relations)

  7. Debt reduction for yen loan to Lao People's Democratic Republic

    Mr. Takashima: Another announcement is about the debt reduction for the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

    The Government of Japan decided to provide a debt reduction to the Government of Laos.

    With this reduction, the yen loan provided by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in the amount of 594 million yen will be written off.

    Related Information (Japan-Laos Relations)

  8. Yen loan to Ukraine for Boryspil State International Airport Development Project

    Mr. Takashima: The eighth announcement is about the yen loan to the Ukraine for the expansion project of its airport.

    The Government of Japan decided to provide a yen loan of 19 billion yen (US$190 million) for the Boryspil State International Airport Development Project in the city of Kiev.

    The terms and conditions that apply to this general untied loan will be an interest rate of 1.5% p.a. and a repayment period of 30 years with a 10-year grace period.

    This is the first yen loan to be provided to Ukraine from Japan.

    Related Information (Japan-Ukraine Relations)

  9. Grant assistance to Syrian Arab Republic for Development of New Water Resources for Damascus City

    Mr. Takashima: The final announcement is about the grant assistance to the Syrian Arab Republic.

    The Government of Japan decided to provide grant assistance of 733 million yen (approximately US$7 million) to the Government of Syria for the project for Development of New Water Resources for Damascus City.

    With this, the water supply to the city of Damascus will be increased by 10% which would benefit the 2.6 million people living in Damascus.

    Related Information (Japan-Syria Relations)

  10. Questions concerning earthquake in Indonesia

    Q: Could you give us an update on possible casualties of Japanese nationals regarding the earthquake?

    Mr. Takashima: We have had an ad hoc office in Banda Aceh since after the major earthquake off the coast of Sumatra Island and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December 2004, and it has reported that there are no Japanese casualties so far. Other than that, they are still checking, and other embassies and consulate-generals' offices have also reported that they have no information on any Japanese casualties.

    Q: Has the Japanese Government begun inter-governmental consultations or considerations with a view to possible immediate relief aid for the people who are affected by yesterday's earthquake?

    Mr. Takashima: As I announced, we are ready to either dispatch a relief team or send relief materials immediately, if there is a request from any of the countries affected.

    Q: Have you received any requests so far?

    Mr. Takashima: I have not heard of any request.

    Q: Have there been any informal consultations?

    Mr. Takashima: Our embassies and consulate-generals are in touch with the governments concerned.

  11. Question concerning possible visit by Foreign Minister Machimura to China

    Q: I was wondering if you could tell us about the current situation on the bilateral talks between Japan and China over the possible visit by Foreign Minister Machimura to the country.

    Mr. Takashima: The possible visit by Foreign Minister Machimura to China was discussed during the course of the discussions held in Tokyo at the Foreign Ministry yesterday between Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Kenichiro Sasae and his counterpart, Director-General of the Department for Asian Affairs Cui Tiankai of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    No date has been decided yet, but there is a good possibility that Foreign Minister Machimura will be visiting China in the middle of next month.


Back to Index