Talks between H.E. Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs and H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of the Republic of Djibouti
April 3, 2009
On April 3 (Friday) from 4:35 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., H.E. Mr. Hirofumi Nakasone, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held talks with H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation of the Republic of Djibouti.
- Prior to the talks, the ministers signed and exchanged Notes between
the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Djibouti concerning
the status of the Self-Defense Forces of Japan, etc. in the Republic of
Djibouti, as well as notes concerning food assistance of 860 million yen,
and grant aid of up to 925 million yen for the Project for the Rehabilitation
of Production Equipment for Radio and TV Station of Djibouti.
- The following is a summary of the foreign ministers’ talks.
1) Minister Nakasone stated that:
(a) The issue of piracy was an extremely important issue for the international community; that he was delighted that Minister Youssouf and he signed and exchanged notes concerning the status of the Self-Defense Forces of Japan, etc; and that he appreciated the cooperation of Djibouti.
(b) Two vessels of the Maritime Self-Defense Force had begun operations to address the issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden; that Japan would like to mainly use Djibouti as the base for the operations; that the MSDF vessels would soon call at the port in Djibouti for the first time; and that he would request Djibouti’s continued cooperation.
(c) The Government of Japan had submitted the Anti-Piracy Measures Bill to the current session of the Diet, and sought its early enactment.
(d) Japan, in light of the importance of Japan-Djibouti relations, had long been extending economic cooperation to Djibouti; and would, based on Djibouti’s cooperation with the Self-Defense Forces and others, consider what assistance would be possible in addition to the two projects that had already been signed that day and ones that were already under consideration.
(e) Japan had announced its intention to double the amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA), among other initiatives, on the occasion of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May, 2008, and that he had reiterated Japan’s firm resolve to carry out this commitment when he attended TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting in Botswana in March, 2009; and that Japan intended to provide assistance to Djibouti and other countries affected by the global economic and financial crisis.
2) In response, Minister Youssouf stated that:
(a) The importance of cooperation between Japan and Djibouti had been increasing; that Djibouti wanted to render any support to facilitate Japan’s efforts to address the issue of piracy; and that it was only natural for Djibouti, as a friend of Japan, to cooperate with Japan when Japan needs it.
(b) He was thankful for the wide range of economic cooperation, including the two projects signed that day, which Japan had extended over 30 years since Djibouti had attained its independence.
(c) Djibouti itself would like to address the issue of piracy, not as an observer, but as an active player, and it requested Japan’s cooperation in this regard; and that political issues also need to be addressed, given that instability of Somalia had been a fundamental cause vis-a-vis the issue of piracy.
3) Afterwards, Minister Youssouf explained Djibouti’s current economic situation, its efforts toward economic development, and the border issue between Djibouti and Eritrea.
4) The two ministers also exchanged views on matters including United Nations Security Council reform and the issue of North Korea.
(Reference 1) Exchange of Notes between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Djibouti concerning the status of the Self-Defense Forces of Japan, etc. in the Republic of Djibouti
The purpose of the notes is to secure, in an appropriate manner, between Japan and Djibouti - which will become a main base for operations of the Self-Defense Forces - the legal status of the Self-Defense Forces, its personnel, and others concerned, in Djibouti, so that they could operate smoothly in addressing the issue of piracy.
(Reference 2) Exchange of Notes concerning Food Aid (in the amount of 860 million yen)
The purpose of the notes is to provide necessary funds to enable Djibouti, in response to the international food crisis that has prevailed since the end of 2008, to purchase food to alleviate severe food shortages in the country.
(Reference 3) Exchange of Notes concerning the Project for the Rehabilitation of Production Equipment of Radio and TV Station of Djibouti (in the amount up to 925 million yen)
As printed media such as newspapers and magazines do not have sufficiently wide circulation in Djibouti, television broadcasts are a major medium of communication for its people, and have the potential to contribute to the promotion of education and healthcare and the development of agriculture and industry. This project will provide the funds necessary for Radiodiffusion Télévision de Djibouti (RTD), Djibouti’s only national broadcasting station, to procure broadcasting facilities and equipment. It is expected that the implementation of this project will greatly enhance RTD’s recording and editing technologies and program creation capacity, thereby contributing to the development of the means of communication in the country.