Japan-Slovakia Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Outline)
June 27, 2012
On Wednesday, June 27, commencing at about 10:50 a.m. for around 30 minutes, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a foreign ministers' meeting with H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, who is visiting Japan. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
Minister Gemba welcomed the visit to Japan by Minister Lajčák, who once served as Slovakia's Ambassador to Japan, and Minister Lajčák replied that he feels privileged to once again be able to visit Japan, the country that is Slovakia's most important friend in Asia.
- Bilateral relations
The two ministers, in looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Slovakia next year, confirmed their intentions to develop bilateral relations in various sectors, including a social security agreement, academic exchanges between universities, science and technology,culture, and tourism.
- Japan-EU relations
(1) Minister Gemba expressed gratitude for Slovakia's support in connection with the Great East Japan Earthquake, and then requested that the EU's restrictions on food imports be eased further. Minister Lajčák responded that Slovakia also wants to contribute in moving forward with easing the restrictions.
(2) Minister Gemba again emphasized the importance of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and requested the support of Slovakia toward the prompt commencement of negotiations. In response, Minister Lajčák mentioned the importance to Slovakia of the automobile industry and the importance of efforts toward non-tariff measures, and stated that Slovakia is placing an emphasis on free trade and will strive to make a constructive response.
(3) Minister Lajčák praised Japan's efforts with regard to the European debt crisis, including its purchase of European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) bonds and its contribution to strengthening the financial base of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- Cooperation in the international arena
(1) Minister Lajčák again said that he supports Japan becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
(2) The two ministers shared the view that the development of Afghanistan is important. Minister Lajčák stated that he will cooperate to make the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July a success.
- (*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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