Courtesy Call by Director General of the World Trade Organization Mr. Pascal Lamy on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

March 15, 2012

On Thursday, March 15, H.E. Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), who is visiting Japan, paid a courtesy call on Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, from 16:50 for approximately 10 minutes at the Prime Minister’s office. The overview of the visit is as follows. (Attending on the WTO side was Mr. Xiaodong Wang, Counsellor, Office of the DG, WTO, among others. Attending on the Japanese side were Mr. Hiroyuki Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, and Mr. Akihisa Nagashima, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, among others.)

1. Commitment to the WTO system

At the beginning, Prime Minister Noda welcomed Director General Lamy’s visit to Japan and stated that although the WTO system is facing difficulties, such as the impasse of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), its importance remains unchanged and Japan’s strong commitment to the system is unwavering.

In response, Director General Lamy highly appreciated the roles that Japan has played in the WTO system and added his expectation that Japan will keep playing active roles in the various efforts made by the WTO. Moreover, Director General Lamy stated that with regards to the establishment of rules concerning international trade, which is being advanced in various fora, approaches taken by Japan are very important and therefore he pays great attention to Japan’s actions.

In response, Prime Minister Noda stated that after receiving aid from many countries in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, he recognized again that Japan’s actions in the international society had been correct and expressed his determination to continue to take initiatives in the international society, including establishment of trade rules.

2. Reputational Damages

Prime Minister Noda stated that, for a year since the earthquake, Japan has ensured safety of its foods on the basis of scientific evidence and yet there still remain many countries which strictly limit import of Japanese food, and thus requested Director General Lamy to urge fair treatment of Japanese food based on the rules. In response, Director General Lamy stated that the WTO is exactly the place to solve such problems, encouraging Japan to actively utilize the organization, and added that if there are any problems with the process for solving such issues, he would like to fulfill his role as Director General.

* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.

Back to Index