Japan- Sri Lanka Foreign Ministerial Meeting and Working Lunch

June 28, 2007

On June 27, from 11:30 to about 13:30, Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held talks and a working lunch with Mr. Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, who is now visiting Japan, at Iikura House.  The gist of the talks is as follows:

1.  Bilateral Relations

(1) In regards to the situation in Sri Lanka and the peace process Mr. Bogollagama explained that the Government of Sri Lanka deals with the issue by both counter-terrorism measures and political dialogue, while bearing in mind an ultimate political solution.  In response, Mr. Aso said that he expected an improvement of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, mentioning the Japanese people’s growing concern over this matter.  He added that he wanted Sri Lanka to deal with the situation appropriately since the deterioration of security would cause a decrease in private investment and the number of tourists, and also could affect economic cooperation.   

(2) Mr. Aso conveyed the decision of the Government of Japan to extend a grassroots human security grant aid totaling about 370 million yen for six cases of mine clearance activities by international NGOs this year in order to facilitate the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Northern and Eastern regions, and to extend about 1 million dollars to the UNHCR and the ICRC to assist their projects this year, as a part of Japan’s assistance to IDPs.  In response, Mr. Bogollagama expressed his appreciation for Japan’s economic assistance to Sri Lanka.

2.  UN Reform

Mr. Aso expressed his appreciation for Sri Lanka’s support for Japan’s accession to permanent membership of the UN Security Council and for Japan’s candidacy in the 2008 non-permanent member election.  Mr. Bogollagama, in response, expressed once again his support for Japan in the non-permanent member election.  

3.  North Korean Issue

Mr. Aso explained the situation of North Korean nuclear and abduction issues and Japan’s position on them. Mr. Bogollagama expressed his support for Japan’s position and hoped for an early solution to these issues.

4.  Climate Change

Mr. Aso expressed Japan’s intention to build a funding mechanism to support ambitious developing countries which aim at both protection of environment and economic growth, after explaining the content of the new proposal concerning measures against global warming presented by Prime Minister Abe recently and Japan’s efforts in dealing with environmental issues.  Mr. Bogollagama welcomed Japan’s proposal and said that he would support Japan’s position in the field of environment.