Japan-Zambia Summit Meeting
On December 19, commencing at around 6:00 p.m. for approximately 60 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, who was on his Official Working Visit to Japan. The overview of the summit meeting is presented below.
Following the summit meeting, Mr. Hidenobu Sobashima, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Zambia, and Hon. Margaret Mwanakatwe, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Zambia, signed Exchange of Notes in the presence of the two leaders on a grant aid project worth 500 million yen (for upgrading old equipment at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Zambia), and issued a Joint Statement between Japan and the Republic of Zambia (English (PDF) / Japanese (PDF)). Subsequently the two leaders held a joint press occasion. Prime Minister Abe then hosted a dinner, where the two leaders discussed a broad range of topics relating to the bilateral relations.
1. Opening remarks
(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Lungu on his first visit to Japan where the last official visit by a Zambian Head of State was undertaken 6 years ago. Prime Minister Abe stated that he would like to further deepen a friendly relationship existing between the two countries that share values. Prime Minister Abe expressed his gratitude for Zambia’s proactive contribution to the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process and showed his hope for President Lungu’s attendance in TICAD7, which will be held in Yokohama City in August next year, and further collaboration for TICAD 7.
(2) In response, President Lungu expressed his gratitude for Japan’s invitation and his intention to make this visit to Japan as an opportunity to further enhance the relationship between the two countries. President Lungu also affirmed his attendance in TICAD7 and Zambia’s contribution to the success of TICAD7.
2. Bilateral relations
(1) Support for the sustainable development of Zambia
Prime Minister Abe supported Zambia’s vision of becoming a prosperous middle-income country by 2030. Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan has been implementing quality assistance unique to Japan and that Japan remains committed to supporting Zambia’s sustainable development. In response, President Lungu expressed his gratitude for Japanese assistance in the fields of infrastructure, health, agriculture, and human resource development such as Kaizen projects, and the dispatch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV). The two leaders underscored the importance of development in accordance with international standards such as openness, transparency, economic efficiency and financial soundness of recipient countries to achieve sustainable development.
(2) Cooperation in the economic field
Mentioning the Public and Private Sector Joint Mission for Promoting Trade and Investment in Africa, which was dispatched in July this year, and JETRO Seminar, which would be held on December 20, Prime Minister Abe requested the improvement of the business environment in Zambia to further promote investment by Japanese companies. Also, the two leaders welcomed the recent substantial progress of the negotiation on the bilateral investment agreement.
3. Regional affairs and strengthening cooperation in the international fora
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining a free and open maritime order based on international law and expressed opposition to any unilateral actions that could change the status quo.
The two leaders also shared the view that the full implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions is necessary for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Prime Minister Abe also requested understanding and cooperation for resolving the abductions issue and President Lungu expressed support for this.
Furthermore, the two leaders reaffirmed their shared position and the cooperation on UNSC reform.