Japan-Armenia Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Overview)
June 7, 2012
On Thursday, June 7, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, signed the Memorandum on Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia together with H.E. Mr. Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia (who was accompanying H.E. Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, on a working visit to Japan). The two subsequently held a Foreign Ministers' Meeting from 5:05 pm for approximately 35 minutes. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
- Bilateral Relations
(1) Minister Gemba welcomed Minister Nalbandian's first visit to Japan in three years and at the same time expressed his gratitude for Minister Nalbandian's visit to the area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Moreover, based on the signing of the memorandum on cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, Minister Gemba stated that he would like to further advance the bilateral relations.
(2) In response, Minister Nalbandian expressed his sympathy to the people of the affected areas and at the same time expressed his gratitude for Japan's support following the Armenia Earthquake in 1988. Moreover, Minister Nalbandian stated that it was symbolic that President Sargsyan had made his Japan visit in the year of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He added that he hoped this would be an opportunity for a new start of bilateral relations and for strengthening bilateral relations.
In addition, Minister Nalbandian also touched upon the establishment of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Tokyo two years ago, expressing the hope that a Japanese embassy would also be established in Armenia in the near future.
- Cooperation for Disaster Prevention
(1) Minister Gemba pointed out the importance of disaster prevention measures for Japan and Armenia given that both countries were prone to earthquakes. Minister Gemba then stated that Japan felt a responsibility to share the knowledge and lessons learned from the disaster and requested participation by an Armenian cabinet official at the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku and the Fukushima Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety.
(2) In response, Minister Nalbandian replied that Armenia would be participating in these two conferences.
- Economic Cooperation
(1) Minister Gemba stated that Japan would continue its support of the development of a market economy in Armenia in the future as well from the viewpoint that the development of Armenia would contribute to the stability in the entire Caucasus region.
(2) Minister Nalbandian once again expressed his gratitude for Japan's economic cooperation over the past 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
- Cooperation in International Arena
(1) Minister Gemba expressed his gratitude for support from Armenia for the reform of the United Nations (UN) such that Japan would be given a permanent seat on the UN Security Council as well as for support in elections at various international organizations.
(2) Foreign Minister Nalbandian once again expressed his support for giving Japan a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and expressed his intention to continue cooperation with Japan in the international arena.
- International Affairs
(1) Minister Gemba stated concerted action by the international community for the prevention of further provocative actions by North Korea were required and requested Armenia's understanding and cooperation on the issue.
(2) Minister Nalbandian explained about diplomatic efforts by Armenia, including on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
- (*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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