Meeting between Minister for Foreign Affairs Matsumoto and Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg Asselborn (Overview)
April 19, 2011
On Tuesday, April 19, Mr. Takeaki Matsumoto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) building with H.E. Mr. Jean Asselborn, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, on his visit to Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- At the start of the meeting, Minister Matsumoto welcomed Minister Asselborn’s visit to Japan and expressed his gratitude for the warm messages of sympathy from H.R.H. Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, and many other people in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
In response, Minister Asselborn extended words of condolence and sympathy for the tragic disaster, which resulted in the loss of a great number of lives and left many people missing. He said that private charity activities are active inside Luxembourg and that both the public and private sectors of the nation will spare no effort in extending support to Japan.
- Minister Matsumoto explained the current state of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and said that Japan would continue to provide the international community with prompt and accurate information with the utmost transparency, in line with the briefings Japan had been holding for diplomatic corps, and that Japan intended to contribute toward greater safety in nuclear power generation going forward. Furthermore, Minister Matsumoto requested appropriate actions be taken based on objective data for products imported from Japan. He also explained the current state and outlook of the Japanese economy following the earthquake.
In response, Minister Asselborn said that the EU is currently discussing how to increase the proportion of renewable energy sources and the implementation of stress tests on existing nuclear power stations in order to enhance their safety. He said that Japan and the EU could cooperate not only in the risk assessment of the current situation but also in future technological developments in this field.
- With regard to a Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Minister Matsumoto requested Luxembourg’s cooperation for starting the negotiation at the coming Japan-EU summit meeting. Minister Asselborn said that the disaster had strengthened the solidarity between Japan and the EU and this momentum must be used to advance discussion on a Japan-EU EPA. He also said that the upcoming summit meeting would be an important occasion in this regard.
- Concerning bilateral relations, Minister Matsumoto welcomed the substantial agreement reached in February 2011 for the Japan-Luxembourg Social Security Agreement. Minister Asselborn invited Minister Matsumoto to visit Luxembourg.
- In addition to the above-mentioned topics, the two ministers exchanged views on the economic situation in Europe and international issues such as the United Nations reform.
- (*This is a provisional translation. The above date denotes the date of the issue of the original press release in Japanese.)