Japan-Mongolia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Signing Ceremony, and Joint Press Occasion
October 9, 2020
On October 9, commencing at around 5:30 p.m. (local time; around 6:30 p.m. Japan time), for approximately 2 hours, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting Mongolia, held a Japan-Mongolia Foreign Ministers' Meeting with H.E. Mr. Nyamtseren ENKHTAIVAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia. This was followed by the signing ceremony for an exchange of notes on the "COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan" (approximately 10 minutes) and a joint press occasion (approximately 15 minutes). The overview of the events is as follows.
1 Japan-Mongolia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
(1) Opening remarks
- Minister Enkhtaivan began by welcoming Minister Motegi's visit to Mongolia. He stated that Minister Motegi's visit to Mongolia as the Foreign Minister of Japan, a strategic partner of Mongolia, and as the first Foreign Minister of a "third neighbor country" to visit since the inauguration of the Mongolian government's second administration, is a sign of the importance placed on bilateral relations, and he expressed his hope to further expand the Japan-Mongolia relationship as a "Strategic Partnership". He also expressed his sincere appreciation of Japan's consistent support for Mongolia's development since its democratization in 1990.
- In response, Minister Motegi extended his gratitude for the warm welcome and said the fact that a face-to-face Foreign Ministers' Meeting was able to take place in the early days of the new administration represents the importance that both countries place on this relationship. He also stated that Japan values Mongolia as a strategic partner as it shares universal values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and expressed his hope to further develop relations.
(2) Bilateral relations
- The two ministers affirmed that, as 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mongolia, they would hold a grand celebration involving the next generation, who will assume responsibility for the next 50 years, thereby strengthening the "Strategic Partnership" between the two countries. They also agreed to develop a new "Mid-Term Action Plan" for both countries in 2022. It was further agreed that as soon as the COVID-19 situation stabilizes, various exchanges including high-level meetings between the two countries would resume.
- Minister Motegi explained that, in response to the worldwide spread of COVID-19, Japan has been providing approximately $12 million in medical supplies and equipment, as well as technical assistance and the provision of Avigan tablets, in order to strengthen Mongolia's health and medical system. He also explained the recent decision to provide Mongolia with a 25 billion yen emergency support loan, and Minister Enkhtaivan expressed his gratitude for Japan's assistance in response.
- The two ministers shared the idea that in order to put their economies on the road to recovery, it is important, while working to prevent the spread of infection, to partially and gradually resume the international flow of people. As such, they will continue to cooperate for the early start of the "Residence Track" and "Business Track", which are being discussed and coordinated in both countries. Minister Motegi also explained that from this month, in principle, Japan has allowed residence status holders from all countries and regions to newly enter the country.
- The two ministers shared their aspiration that the New Ulaanbaatar International Airport will serve as a new symbol of bilateral cooperation between the two countries and enhance the air connectivity of the region. In addition, Minister Motegi mentioned that the opening of the airport has been postponed due to the impact of COVID-19, urging continued cooperation to ensure that the airport opens and runs smoothly, so that its operation by a joint venture of Japanese companies and a Mongolian company serves as best practice for the region.
(3) Cooperation in the regional and international arenas
- In light of the agreement at the December 2018 Japan-Mongolia Summit to pursue tangible cooperation aimed at achieving a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific", the two sides agreed to continue consolidating their efforts at this Foreign Ministers' Meeting.
- The two ministers also exchanged views on the regional and international situation, including how to address North Korea, agreeing to further develop their level of cooperation. With respect to North Korea in particular, the two ministers agreed on the importance of full implementation of Security Council resolutions aimed at its denuclearization. They also affirmed that they would continue to work closely with each other toward the swift resolution of the abduction issue.
2 The signing Ceremony of the Exchange of Notes on the “COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan”
Following the Japan-Mongolia Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the two ministers signed the exchange of notes on the provision of an emergency support loan of 25 billion yen aimed at providing support to Mongolia, whose economy has been adversely affected by COVID-19.