Courtesy Call on H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, by Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
March 15, 2010
The Government of Japan has decided to extend grant aid (two projects) to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Notes to this effect were exchanged on March 15 (Mon) between Mr. Katsuya Okada, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Mr. Zacarias Albano de Costa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste, in the presence of H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Afterwards, Minister Okada paid a courtesy call on President Ramos-Horta for approximately forty minutes from 6:45 p.m. The overview of the courtesy call is as follows.
- Minister Okada began by stating that he was sorry to hear of the sudden passing away of Mr. Takahisa Kawakami of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). President Ramos-Horta also expressed his condolences to Mr. Kawakami’s family and the people and Government of Japan.
- Minister Okada continued by stating that he welcomed President Ramos-Horta’s first visit to Japan as president, that he also “welcomed Timor-Leste’s stable progress towards substantial nation building,” and that he “hoped that the two economic cooperation projects that were signed will contribute to Timor-Leste’s efforts to tackle climate change .” In response, President Ramos-Horta thanked Japan for its aid since 1999 and said, “Since the turmoil in 2006, Timor-Leste has accomplished sustained economic growth of 8% in 2007, 12.8% in 2008, and 14% in 2009. However, growth of 7% to 8% will be necessary in the next ten years to deal with the issue of extreme poverty. I believe it is possible to proceed with infrastructure development through income such as that from fossil fuels and gas, but continual aid from Japan is vital. We also hope for even more investment from Japanese corporations.” In response, Minister Okada said, “Japanese NGOs and corporations are active in Timor-Leste, and I believe they are of use there. We hope to continue with our cooperation.”
- President Ramos-Horta stated, “We expect contributions from Japan, such as those up until now, for peace and prosperity in Asia that also benefit Japan. Based on Japan’s continued pacifism in the fifty years since World War II and their contributions to the world and region, we remain unchanging in our support for Japan's becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.” He also said, “We strongly support Japan’s efforts towards the total abolition of nuclear weapons. The North Korean nuclear issue brings instability to the region, and we support Japan’s efforts with the five other countries.” In response, Minister Okada thanked President Ramos-Horta for his support for Japan becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and said that he hoped to cooperate regarding the issues of disarmament, non-proliferation, and North Korea.
- President Ramos-Horta stated, “Climate change is an issue that affects every country, regardless of size or wealth. It is possible to come up with one measure to resolve this issue. In particular, the Asian countries – which make up 50% of the world’s population and 60% of its poor people – must make use of their traditional culture which shuns confrontation and take the initiative to search for a resolution making use of their knowledge. This initiative will lead to a solution.” In response, Minister Okada said, “Now is the era of Asia, and if Asia were able to come up with a single answer regarding climate change, I think that it could spread through out the whole world.”