Overview of the Japan-Brazil Foreign Ministers' Meeting
July 2, 2011
On June 30 (Thu.), Mr. Takeaki Matsumoto, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with H.E. Amb. Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Minister for External Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil, for approximately 70 minutes beginning at 12:10 PM (local time). The meeting was also attended by Amb. Maria Edileuza Fontenele Reis, under-secretary general for Political Affairs of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, as well as Mr. Akira Miwa, Ambassador of Japan to Brazil. The overview of the meeting is given below. Prior to the meeting, the two Ministers signed the Exchange of Notes concerning two ODA loan projects (the Belem Metropolitan Trunk Bus System Project and the Non Revenue Water Control Project in Sao Paulo State). The two Ministers also exchanged views on the situations of North Korea and the Middle East at the luncheon after the meeting, which was hosted by Minister Patriota and attended by local prominent figures of Japanese descent.
1. Introduction and Bilateral Relations in General
- (1) Minister Patriota welcomed Minister Matsumoto's visit to Brazil, expressed his delight in realizing their fourth meeting in Brazil, and voiced his respect for the adaptability of the Japanese people in facing difficulty in a concerted manner after Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11. In response, Minister Matsumoto said that Japan placed importance on its ties with Brazil and other South American countries and that he was pleased to visit the country so early into his term as Foreign Minister. He also expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of Brazil for their assistance since the disaster. Both Ministers agreed on the importance of developing bilateral relations in political, economic and other sectors, in addition to traditional people-to-people relationships between the two countries.
- (2) With regard to nuclear safety, Minister Patriota expressed his concerns about the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plants. Minister Matsumoto responded that Japan was making its utmost efforts to bring the nuclear accident under control and that Japan is already conducting investigations into the accident. He added that Japan was also committed to information disclosure, as exemplified by the acceptance of the IAEA mission and the submission of the report by the Government of Japan to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety. Minister Matsumoto said that Japan would like to contribute to ensuring the highest levels of nuclear safety.
2. Bilateral Economic Relations
- (1) While making reference to the speech that Minister Matsumoto made at the Mercosur Summit Meeting in Asunción the day before, and also to the bilateral trade which is now more dynamic, setting an all-time record last year, Minister Patriota expressed hope that the two countries would develop economic relations under the bilateral framework, as well as the framework involving Japan and Mercosur. He mentioned the possibility of promoting cooperation in the agricultural sector, including agricultural assistance to third countries. In this context, Minister Patriota noted that President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff placed a high value on science and technology, and that Brazil as an emerging country should strengthen its productivity and competitiveness if it wants to go to the next stage. Minister Patriota showed interest in possible partnerships with Japan in this regard. Minister Matsumoto said Japan hoped to discuss these issues with Brazil.
- (2) As for the restrictions on food imports from Japan, both Ministers reaffirmed that Brazil had already limited the scope of import restrictions to 12 prefectures instead of all the prefectures in Japan, based on the meeting between the two Ministers in April. They also confirmed that they had agreed on specific procedures in this regard.
3. Multiple Entry Visas for a Temporary Visit for Business Purposes
The two foreign ministers essentially agreed to work to streamline the procedures for obtaining a multiple entry visa for a temporary visit for business purposes. Minister Matsumoto pointed to the significantly favorable impact on the business sector in both countries if this measure were to be implemented.
4. Social Security Agreement
- (1) Minister Matsumoto expressed his expectation that the social security agreement between Japan and Brazil would be implemented soon, noting that Japan had already completed the domestic procedures.
- (2) In response, Minister Patriota announced Brazil would work to ensure that the agreement is brought into force at the earliest opportunity, and added that Brazilian residents in Japan have great interest in this issue.
5. High-Speed Railway Program
- (1) Minister Patriota said that President Rousseff herself was enthusiastically working on the high-speed railway program, expressing expectations of Japan's interest in the program.
- (2) Noting a long history of friendly relations between the two countries, Minister Matsumoto said that Japan was paying close attention to the program and expressed hope that an environment would be created in which Japan's high levels of technology can be put to good use for the benefit of the program.
6. Cooperation in International Fora
The two ministers exchanged views on how Japan and Brazil should work together on such issues as UN Security Council reform, the MDGs, climate change (Rio+20), and non-proliferation.
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