(* This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only. The original text is in Japanese.)

Press Conference by Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura

Date: Sunday, January 6, 2008
Place: Tanzania

I have just finished my meeting with President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete which lasted for approximately 40 minutes. At the outset of the meeting, President Kikwete welcomed me and I expressed my gratitude to him for taking time to meet with me despite his extremely busy schedule at this juncture given the situation in Kenya. Regarding the situation in Kenya, President Kikwete explained that he himself is making various efforts and that at first the Kenyans should stop the violence and talk with each other.

Furthermore, regarding Japan becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, President Kikwete said that Tanzania gives its full support and it was not only Tanzania but noted there was not a single nation in Africa that would oppose that. Still, the president stated that there was no reason why a nation from Africa should not join as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. In response I stated that Japan also thinks that naturally there should be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council from Africa.

Regarding the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), the president repeated that he himself would participate and those days had already been set aside in his schedule for the event. I told him that in addition to participating himself, I would like to call upon him to urge other leaders from Africa to attend. In response he stated that he would do so and make efforts to ensure that as many leaders as possible participate in the conference.

The president expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Japan for its Official Development Assistance (ODA) and asked that such cooperation be continued. I stated that Tanzania is one of the top priority countries that Japan focuses on in extending economic cooperation to Africa due to the progress in democratization in Tanzania under the president's leadership, the efforts on the administrative and fiscal fronts, and the stable approaches both domestically and diplomatically. Furthermore, I stated that Tanzania makes efforts for peace-building as a stable force throughout this region, and Japan intends to continue to provide assistance to such countries.

When President Kikwete came to Japan, he had requested then Prime Minister Abe to dispatch an industrial development advisor and when I informed the president that the dispatch would take place at the end of this month, he corrected me saying, "No, the advisor will arrive on 28 January," indicating that he is very well informed about this matter.

In addition, the president stated that he supports Japan's position regarding the resolution of North Korea's nuclear issues and when I stated that there are both nuclear issues and the abduction issue, he responded that he fully shared Japan's position in that regard too.

Did the president speak of any concrete measures to bring about progress in Kenya?

The president stated that some representatives of each of the factions in Kenya were already here and some will come later and that he tells each of them his thoughts and gives them his advice. Exactly to whom he gave what advice is a delicate matter so I will refrain from commenting on that, but the president did say that he gave appropriate advice to the various people reflecting their respective positions and he stated that he himself takes a neutral position. Furthermore, he stated that no matter what, he believes and hopes to see the situation calm down and order to resume.

Regarding North Korean issues, did it first come from the president and not from your side?

The president at first, for his part, stated his support for Japan's position and efforts aiming to solve the nuclear issues. After which, I stated that in addition to the nuclear issues, there is also the issue of the abduction.

Related Information (Japan-Tanzania Relations)
Related Information (Japan-Kenya Relations)

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