Japan-Netherlands Foreign Ministers' Meeting
October 17, 2011
On Monday, October 17, commencing at 5:15 p.m. for around 45 minutes, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Koichiro Gemba held a Japan-Netherlands foreign ministers’ meeting with H.E. Dr. Uri Rosenthal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overview of the meeting is as follows. Foreign Minister Rosenthal is scheduled to visit disaster-affected regions on Tuesday, October 18.
- At the start, Foreign Minister Gemba welcomed Foreign Minister Rosenthal’s first visit to Japan and expressed his gratitude for the support and sympathy Japan received from the government and citizens of the Netherlands at the time of the earthquake disaster. He said he hoped Foreign Minister Rosenthal would observe firsthand the fully-fledged efforts Japan is making toward recovery, and convey this upon his return home. In response to this, Foreign Minister Rosenthal once again expressed the sympathy and sense of solidarity of the people of the Netherlands and their sense of regard for the Japanese people, and indicated that the Netherlands intends to cooperate in the water and agricultural sectors, in which it possesses expertise.
- The two Foreign Ministers exchanged opinions on amicable and stable Japan-Netherlands relations, such as Japan’s decision to participate in the Floriade (World Horticultural Expo) to be held next year in the Netherlands, the Japan-Netherlands Peace Exchange Program, investment relations (including the importance of ratifying the Japan-Netherlands Tax Convention promptly), relations between the Imperial Household and the Royal Family, and the two countries’ more than 400-year-long history of exchange.
- Foreign Minister Gemba expressed thanks for the Netherlands’ support on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and appealed for further help in reaching out to other EU member countries. In response, Foreign Minister Rosenthal expressed strong support for the Japan-EU EPA and noted that the Netherlands embraces free trade.
- Additionally, Foreign Minister Gemba sought an appropriate and swift response to the Sea Shepard issue as a maritime safety concern. In reply, Foreign Minister Rosenthal explained that the Netherlands also believes that maritime safety should not be jeopardized, and said he would take Foreign Minister Gemba’s comments seriously.
- In addition to this, the two Foreign Ministers also spent a short time exchanging opinions on regional situations and cooperation in the international area, such as Security Council reform and the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI).
- (*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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