Japan-Guatemala Foreign Ministers' Meeting

May 23, 2012

(Photo)Japan-Guatemala Foreign Ministers' Meeting-1
(Photo)Japan-Guatemala Foreign Ministers' Meeting-2

At midday on Wednesday, May 23, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba held a meeting at Iikura Guest House for approximately 40 minutes with H.E. Mr. Harold Osberto Caballeros Lopez, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala, who is paying a working visit to Japan upon the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. This was followed by a luncheon meeting. An outline of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Gemba welcomed Minister Caballeros to Japan, and noted that Japan and Guatemala traditionally maintain amicable relations, with increasing numbers of VIP visits between the two countries in recent times. He expressed his hope to take the opportunity presented by Minister Caballeros's visit to Japan to further strengthen this positive bilateral relationship. In response, Minister Caballeros thanked Minister Gemba for the welcome, as a representative of both the government and people of Guatemala, and stated that he was honored to be able to visit Japan at this time.

  2. (1) Minister Gemba explained Japan's basic policies toward Latin America (Reference), and stated that Japan would continue considering, within its capacity, support for the sustained development of Guatemala. He also said that he hoped the assistance which had been provided by Japan would be used effectively and that the Congress of Guatemala would soon approve the ODA loan project, the "ZONAPAZ Road Improvement Project". In response to this, Minister Caballeros expressed his gratitude for the economic cooperation given by Japan so far, and stated that, after his return to Guatemala, he wanted to work hard to ensure early approval of the "ZONAPAZ Road Improvement Project" in the Congress of Guatemala.

    (2) Minister Gemba encouraged Guatemala to adopt Japanese ISDB-T standards for the terrestrial digital television To this, Minister Caballeros responded by saying that Guatemala was leaning toward the referred standard, but that it would take time to make the final decision.

    (3) In addition, Minister Caballeros stated that he wanted to take steps toward strengthening not only economic cooperation, but also economic relations between the two countries, and expressed his hope for active participation of Japanese companies in infrastructural projects, such as roads and bridges which need to be revised in light of the effects of global warming, as well as the construction of freeways crossing Guatemala. He also referred to his will to encourage cultural and academic exchange between both countries.

  3. (1) Minister Caballeros mentioned that Guatemala was a non-permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, and hoped to work together with its friend, Japan, on the issues such as the North Korea problem, offering its maximal cooperation. In response to this, Minister Gemba stated that Japan welcomed the Security Council Presidential Statement regarding the missile launch by North Korea that included strong criticism and a warning. He also said that it was important for the international community to act together and clearly demonstrate a firm attitude in order to prevent further provocative actions by North Korea, expressing his will to work together with Guatemala to this end.

    (2) Minister Gemba expressed his gratitude for the support Guatemala had provided for the North Korean Human Rights Resolution and stated that he hoped to continue the collaboration with Guatemala in this area.

    (3) In addition, Minister Gemba expressed his concerns about the fact that progress had not been made in Security Council reform. He mentioned that it was important to take a realistic view, and explained that Japan planned to take a flexible approach in discussing the matter with the other countries. Also in this context, he expressed his hope to work together with Guatemala. Minister Caballeros responded by saying that he considered Japan's position reasonable, and stated that Guatemala would strive to do whatever it could as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to accomplish the reform. He also showed his desire to cooperate with Japan, and affirmed that Japan could count on Guatemala's cooperation.

  4. The two ministers also exchanged opinions on subjects ranging from situations in Latin America such as the Pacific Alliance, and Japan-Central America relations such as the Japan-Central America Forum, the High-Level International Conference on Large-Scale Natural Disasters 2012, as well as Japan's candidature for the 2020 Olympics.
[Reference] Japan's basic policies toward Latin America
  1. Strengthening of economic relations;
  2. Strengthening of cooperation in the international arena;
  3. Assistance for stable development of Latin American countries;
  4. Sharing of Japanese values.
    • (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)