Japan-New Zealand Foreign Ministers' Meeting
June 25, 2012
On Monday, June 25, commencing at 4:40 p.m. for around 50 minutes, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a meeting with Hon. Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, who visited Japan. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
- Opening Remarks
Minister Gemba expressed his gratitude for the thoughtful consideration Minister McCully showed to the families and relatives of the Japanese victims of the Christchurch earthquake through his attendance at a ceremony held in Toyama Prefecture on Monday, June 25 to establish a memorial sculpture for the Japanese victims. Minister Gemba also noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and New Zealand, and said that he wants to use this as a momentum toward further strengthening bilateral relations.
In response, Minister McCully said he participated in the memorial ceremony as a representative of the government and citizens of New Zealand in order to express their deepest sympathies to the bereaved families.
- Bilateral Relations
(1) Bilateral relations between Japan and New Zealand
Minister Gemba said that restoring disaster-stricken regions and building nations that are resilient to natural disasters are challenges common to both Japan and New Zealand, and he once again expressed his gratitude for the sincere response shown by Minister McCully toward the Japanese victims of the Christchurch earthquake, along with saying that he once again wanted to mention that the bereaved families’ primary focus is for the cause of the collapse of the CTV Building to be fully clarified.
In response, Minister McCully said that the goal of the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission is to clarify the causes of all collapses relating to the Christchurch earthquake, and that the Commission is also studying the causes of the CTV Building’s collapse. Furthermore, Minister McCully said that the government of New Zealand will publicly disclose all the results of the Commission’s investigation, and that it wants to learn lessons from the clarification of the causes.
(2) Cooperation in the Pacific Islands Region (including the Fiji Issue)
Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba expressed his appreciation for New Zealand’s cooperation at the Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 6). He also stated that Japan attaches great importance to its relationship with Fiji, which is a hub nation of the South Pacific, and that Japan wishes to work in close cooperation with New Zealand toward the democratization of Fiji.
In response, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said that the Fiji issue requires careful and cautious handling for New Zealand too, as it is essential to secure the rule of law, democracy and respect for basic human rights. So, as the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), New Zealand is going to strengthen its dialogue with Fiji on a continuing basis.
- Economy and Trade-related (including Economic Partnerships)
Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the two foreign ministers exchanged explanations and views concerning the respective domestic discussion situations in Japan and New Zealand, and confirmed that Japan and New Zealand would remain continuously in close contact.
- Cooperation in the Regional and International Arenas
In addition, the two foreign ministers exchanged opinions on the situation in Afghanistan, the situation in Northeast Asia, and the framework for regional cooperation including the East Asia Summit (EAS), etc., and agreed to proceed with close consultation and cooperation over these important regional issues.
- (*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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