Press Conference 3 June 2005

  1. Commencement of negotiations on the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement
  2. Situation in the Republic of Uzbekistan
  3. 6th Meeting of the Japan-China Board of Assistance to Greening Activities
  4. Seminar series to understand the Middle East and Islam
  5. Support to "Empowerment of women and adolescents in social risks in Central America - protection from sexual exploitation and promotion of human rights" in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala
  6. Grant aid to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the project for improving the control of infectious diseases and the nutritional status of Palestinian children of the Palestinian Authority
  7. Guests and national/special days of the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan (4 - 10 June)
  8. Question concerning remarks made by Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya
  9. Question concerning visit to Japan by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of the State of Israel

  1. Commencement of negotiations on the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement

    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 on the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

    The Governments of Japan and the Republic of Indonesia have reached agreement to commence the negotiations on the EPA. This agreement was reached at the meeting between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia that was held yesterday in Tokyo.

    At this meeting, the two leaders expressed their satisfaction with the report of the Joint Study Group and shared the view that trade and investment liberalization and facilitation as well as bilateral cooperation in various areas would help create a larger market for Japanese and Indonesian businesses and consumers. The two leaders expressed their hope that the EPA between the two countries would help enhance the comprehensive economic partnership between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a whole.

    The two leaders decided that the Governments of the two countries should enter into negotiations on the EPA as soon as possible at the latest by July 2005 taking into account the discussions and achievements gained in the process of the Joint Study Group and should work expeditiously to conclude the negotiations on the EPA within a reasonable period of time.

    Related Information (Joint Announcement)

  2. Situation in the Republic of Uzbekistan

    Mr. Takashima: The second announcement is on the situation in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

    To observe the situation in the region of Uzbekistan where the incident occurred recently, the Government of Japan dispatched on 1 June staff members of the Japanese Embassy in Uzbekistan to the eastern area of Uzbekistan as a part of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) survey mission to monitor the situation in Uzbekistan.

    At the same time, in light of the current situation in Uzbekistan, Japanese Ambassador to Uzbekistan Yuichi Kusumoto met with Deputy Foreign Minister Ibrohim Mavlanov of Uzbekistan on 1 June to deliver the following message. It says as follows:

    Japan continues to closely observe the situation in Uzbekistan caused by the incident in Andizhan, and it cannot help feeling concern over the news of the indiscriminate shooting of defenseless citizens when the security forces suppressed the incident. It is extremely important to carry out an investigation under the international framework to seek the truth of this incident in a transparent, objective and credible manner. Furthermore, Japan attaches importance to the peaceful settlement of the situation and securing stability of the region, and strongly hopes that Uzbekistan will further enhance its endeavors towards democratization, respect for human rights and transition to a market economy.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  3. 6th Meeting of the Japan-China Board of Assistance to Greening Activities

    Mr. Takashima: The third announcement is about the convening of two meetings.

    First, the 6th Meeting of the Japan-China Board of Assistance to Greening Activities will be held in Tokyo on 6 June. The meeting will be attended by officials of the State Forestry Administration of the People's Republic of China, the Forestry Agency of Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of both countries, and will discuss the promotion of the tree planting projects in China that are being carried out by Japanese non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local authorities and private corporations.

    Related Information (Japan-China Relations)

  4. Seminar series to understand the Middle East and Islam

    Mr. Takashima: The next announcement is about the convening of a seminar to understand the Middle East and Islam.

    A seminar in the Series to Understand the Middle East and Islam, co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Miyagi Prefecture and the Japan Foundation will be held in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture on 5 July in cooperation with the Miyagi International Association and the Middle East Institute of Japan.

    At the seminar, Ambassador Ghanim Alwan Al-Jumaily of the Republic of Iraq to Japan and Professor Chizuko Tominaga of Miyagi Gakuin Women's University will give lectures, followed by question and answer sessions and discussion with the audience.

    This is a series of seminars and activities the Foreign Ministry has been organizing or supporting to have a better understanding of the Middle East situation amongst the Japanese public.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  5. Support to "Empowerment of women and adolescents in social risks in Central America - protection from sexual exploitation and promotion of human rights" in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala

    Mr. Takashima: I have two more announcements on Japanese assistance.

    The Government of Japan and the United Nations (UN) decided to extend assistance of a total of US$1.541 million for the project "Empowerment of women and adolescents in social risks in Central America - protection from sexual exploitation and promotion of human rights" to be implemented in the Republic of El Salvador, the Republic of Honduras and the Republic of Guatemala by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

    Related Information (Press Release)

  6. Grant aid to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the project for improving the control of infectious diseases and the nutritional status of Palestinian children of the Palestinian Authority

    Mr. Takashima: The Government of Japan decided to provide US$3.18 million to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to implement the project for Improving the Control of Infectious Diseases and the Nutritional Status of Palestinian Children. This project will benefit approximately 1.2 million children between the age of 6 and 18 and 105,000 infants in the Palestinian autonomous areas with respect to protection from infectious diseases and improvement of their nutritional situation.

    Related Information (Japan-Palestinian Authorities)

  7. Guests and national/special days of the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan (4 - 10 June)

    Mr. Takashima: Lastly, I would like to give the names of the foreign dignitaries who are scheduled to visit Japan to attend the National Day events at the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan scheduled for next week.

    Firstly, Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan of the Republic of Armenia will visit Japan from 6 to 9 June to attend the National Day event on 7 June at the Expo site. Secondly, Executive Chairman of Board of Investment Mahmudur Rahman of the Government of People's Republic of Bangladesh will visit Japan from 9 to 11 June to attend the National Day event on 9 June. The next one is Minister of Commerce, Industry, Investment Promotion, Tourism and Cooperation Paul Manasseh Nshuti of the Republic of Rwanda will visit Japan from 9 to 12 June to attend the National Day event on 10 June. Fourthly, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Said Abdella of the State of Eritrea will visit Japan from 9 to 15 June to attend the National Day event on 10 June.

    The Government of Japan is pleased to welcome those dignitaries who will visit Japan as Guests of the World Exposition.

    Related Information (Press Release)

  8. Question concerning remarks made by Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya

    Q: Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya stated that the draft resolution on reforming the Security Council proposed by the Group of Four (G4) members including Japan is dangerous and that China would be opposed to its adoption. What is the position of the Japanese Government?

    Mr. Takashima: We are aware of the statement made by Ambassador Wang Guangya. However, his views stated in this report are not in line with those of the Japanese Government and members of the G4. We believe that this draft resolution for UN reform was originally in line with the one made by the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and has been endorsed and reiterated by Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan to achieve UN reform, especially reform of the Security Council. We believe that our proposal would not endanger in any way the current state of the UN. Rather, it would further promote the efforts to reform the UN. We will further try to talk with the Chinese Government to seek their understanding for our position and to try to seek their support for our proposal.

    Related Information (United Nations Reform)

  9. Question concerning visit to Japan by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of the State of Israel

    Q: Could you tell us the latest development of the talks between Japan and the State of Israel to set a date for the planned visit of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel to Japan?

    Mr. Takashima: The discussion is still going on, and no date has been set yet. We hope that the visit of Prime Minister Sharon would be materialized at the earliest possible time.

    Related Information (Japan-Israel Relations)


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