Efforts of the Government of Japan for Iraq
-Establishing Long-term and Strategic Partnership and Promotion of National Reconciliation-

March 17, 2007

1.   The Government of Japan has decided to invite Mr. Tariq Al-Hashimi, Vice President of Iraq, from March 21 (Wed) to 24 (Sat).

2.   The Government of Japan will also invite 15 leading persons including parliamentarians led by the Minister for National Reconciliation from Iraq from March 25 (Sun) to 31 (Sat).

3.   The basic concepts of the Government of Japan on these programs are as follows:

 (1)  The stability in Iraq is necessary for the national interest of Japan, which imports 90% of crude oil that it needs from the Middle Eastern region.  Japan has actively assisted the reconstruction of Iraq by, for example, dispatching Japan’s Self Defense Forces conducting humanitarian assistance, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) amounting to about five billion US dollars, and debt relief measures amounting to about six billion US dollars.

 (2)  By making use of Japan’s assistance so far, it is important for Japan and Iraq, which is Japan’s friendly country and the country with the third largest oil reserve in the world, to establish a long-term and strategic partnership and to build mutually beneficial relations.

 (3) Vice President Hashimi visits Japan so as to further strengthen such relations.

  (4)  In order to improve the situation in Iraq, it is essential for the Government of Iraq to launch successful security measures and to make efforts in promoting national reconciliation.  Accordingly, the Government of Japan will encourage Vice President Hashimi to deepen his understanding on and further his support for promoting national reconciliation during his visit while inviting the parliamentarians concerned to national reconciliation subsequently.