Japan-Canada Summit Meeting (Overview)
On May 26, local time (May 26, 5:45p.m., JST), Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is visiting France to attend the G8 Deauville Summit, held a Japan-Canada summit meeting with the Right Honorable Stephen Joseph Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (From the Japanese side, Mr. Tetsuro Fukuyama, the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Chikao Kawai, the Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Koro Bessho, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and others, and from the Canadian side, the Honourable John Baird, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Nigel Wright, Chief of Staff to Prime Minister; and others also attended the meeting).
- Opening Remarks
Prime Minister Kan congratulated the winning of the recent Canadian federal election by the Conservative Party led by Prime Minister Harper, and the reappointment of Prime Minister Harper, and stated that the reappointment of the Harper administration that attaches importance to Asia including Japan is encouraging to Japan. In response, Prime Minister Harper expressed his gratitude for the message , and stated that he would like to work closely with Prime Minister Kan to further enhance the Japan-Canada relations.
Prime Minister Kan expressed his gratitude for the words of sympathy from Prime Minister Harper following the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as the blankets and survey meters provided by Canada. In response, Prime Minister Harper reiterated his sympathies and sense of solidarity, and stated that Canada would like to provide any assistance to Japan.
- Japan-Canada Relations
(1) Economic Partnership between Japan and Canada
Prime Minister Harper stated that he welcomes the progress towards the Japan-Canada Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and would like the joint study to be completed as soon as possible. In response, Prime Minister Kan explained that although there has been a delay in the progress due to the unexpected occurrence of the earthquake, Japan's basic stance has not changed, and stated that "Guideline on Policy Promotion" was decided by the cabinet last week in order to promote the reform that Japan has been pursuing since prior to the earthquake. Prime Minister Kan also stated that with regard to the Japan-Canada EPA, he would like the joint study to be completed as soon as possible while taking into consideration the status of recovery and reconstruction from the earthquake.
(2) Political, Peace and Security Cooperation
Prime Minister Kan stated that he would like to enhance and develop the cooperative relations between the two countries in the field of political, peace and security cooperation, based on the statement of a new cooperative framework in this field that was signed at the APEC Leaders' Meeting held in Yokohama in 2010. In response, Prime Minister Harper stated that he is looking forward to pursuing cooperation in this field.
(3) Import-Related Measures on Food Products from Japan
Prime Minister Kan stated that he would like to request the Canadian side to continue to implement measures based on scientific data in order to facilitate the import of food products from Japan. In response, Prime Minister Harper stated that if Japan provides Canada with updated information such as the results of new inspections, Canada will review it and take measures based on scientific evidence.
(4) Issue of Import Conditions on Canadian Beef
Prime Minister Harper made a request regarding the deregulation of import conditions on Canadian beef, and Prime Minister Kan stated that Japan is fully aware of Canada's request, and would like to continue discussion to resolve this matter in a mutually acceptable manner.
- Nuclear Accident and Nuclear Safety
Prime Minister Kan stated that with regard to the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station, Japan is proceeding with full efforts to resolve the situation, and that Japan would like to cooperate with Canada to enhance nuclear safety. Prime Minister Kan also stated that Japan will utilize nuclear power while securing further safety based on a thorough examination of the accident. Prime Minister Harper stated that he commends Japan's efforts.
- Child Custody (the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention)
Prime Minister Kan stated that at the cabinet meeting on May 20, the Government of Japan decided to advance preparations for the conclusion of the Hague Convention. In response, Prime Minister Harper stated that Canada would like to share its experience with Japan.
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