Japan-Czech Republic Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Working Dinner (Outline)

October 7, 2011

Japan-Czech Republic Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Working Dinner
Japan-Czech Republic Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Working Dinner
  1. On Friday, October 7, from 6:45 P.M. Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba hosted a two-and-a-half hour meeting and working dinner for H.E. Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic at the Iikura House. The two had an exchange of opinions on bilateral relations, cooperation in the international community and regional/international situations.

  2. The Outline of the meeting and working dinner is as follows.

    (1) Minister Gemba welcomed Minister Schwarzenberg's second visit to Japan, and expressed his gratitude for the many offers of support from the government and people of the Czech Republic following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    (2) In addition to reiterating his respect for self-possessed response of the Japanese at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Minister Schwarzenberg had reconfirmed Japan's potential toward reconstruction. Furthermore, Minister Schwarzenberg proposed to accept 30 children from the disaster-stricken regions into the Czech Republic, as well as to extend cooperation through nuclear experts, indicating that the people of the Czech Republic are eager to offer any assistance it can for Japan.

    (3) Minister Gemba thanked Minister Schwarzenberg for the proposal, and said that he would like to consider the detail within the Ministry going forward. Also, in response to Minister Gemba's request to relax import restrictions imposed by the EU, Minister Schwarzenberg said he will consider the matter thoroughly.

    (4) Minister Gemba noted that many Japanese companies are now entering the Czech Republic, and thanked the Government of the Czech Republic for its prompt responses to improve the investment environment. On that basis, Minister Gemba requested the Czech Republic to continue its efforts to develop the investment environment, and expressed his intention to move forward the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement (EPA) from the perspective of strengthening economic relations and harnessing mutual economic benefits. Minister Schwarzenberg responded that he is eager to proceed with the Japan-EU EPA negotiations at an early stage.

    (5) The two ministers agreed on the necessity of the United Nations (UN) Security Council reform. Minister Schwarzenberg stated his support for Japan becoming a permanent member of the Security Council.

    (6) Minister Gemba expressed his intention to continue promoting cooperation between Japan and the Visegrád Group (also known as "V4": the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia). In response Minister Schwarzenberg explained the cooperation of the Visegrád Group and the Eastern partnership initiatives of the EU.

    (7) Minister Schwarzenberg also requested Minister Gemba to visit the Czech Republic.

    (8) Aside from the above, the two ministers exchanged opinions on international situations and other issues of common interest.
    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)

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