Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministerial Meeting

December 5, 2011

On November 10, Foreign Minister Gemba held a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton during his visit to Honolulu, the U.S. to attend the APEC Ministers Meeting. The outline of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening Remarks

At the beginning, Minister Gemba stated that he paid his respects to Secretary Clinton's leadership and that he would like to continue to cooperate closely with the U.S. to achieve concrete outcomes in priority areas in the APEC meetings in Honolulu. Referring to Secretary Clinton's article "America's Pacific Century" contributed to the latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine, he noted that he felt sympathy with its contents and that to create prosperous and stable world on the basis of democratic values was one of his primary diplomatic goals; in this regard, this APEC and the East Asia Summit (EAS) held in the following week were important.
Furthermore, regarding Minister Gemba's visit to Washington D.C., both ministers agreed to arrange a schedule that would work for both sides.

2. Japan-U.S. relations

(1) Japan-U.S. Security

Minister Gemba highly praised that, in Secretary Clinton's article, the U.S. made it clear that the U.S., as a Pacific power, continues to strengthen its presence in Asia-Pacific, and remains committed to regional peace and stability, and that the U.S. declared the Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone of peace and stability in the region. In this context, he also stated that he would like to promote Japan-U.S. cooperation on security and defense in a broad range of areas. In response, Secretary Clinton stated that she also would like to promote various cooperations which both sides agreed on at the last Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee ( "2+2").
In regard to the relocation of Futenma Air Station, Minister Gemba stated that the Government of Japan is preparing for submission of an environmental impact statement (EIS) by the end of this year and that to gain the understanding of people in Okinawa he is making efforts in various ways including making a visit to Okinawa. From this point of view, he requested the U.S. for further cooperation in reducing the impact on Okinawa.

(2) Economy

Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Minister Gemba explained that the last-minute coordination was being made in Japan and intensive discussion was taking place in the Diet on that day as well; Prime Minister Noda would make a decision, taking into consideration the result of today's discussion in the Diet.
With respect to the beef issue, Minister Gemba stated that this matter was a long-standing issue of concern between the two countries and explained that the Government of Japan had decided to review overall measures against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), and that it had started preparations for a referral to the Food Safety Commission.

(3) Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges

Japan's side stated that since the next year, the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial, would be an opportunity to enhance momentum of Japan-U.S. exchanges, he would like to count on U.S. side's cooperation.

3. Asia-Pacific Region

(1) APEC

Minister Gemba appreciated the U.S.'s initiative throughout this year's APEC and stated that he would like to continue cooperation between Japan and the U.S., especially in the areas prioritized by the U.S., for achieving concrete outcomes. The U.S. side expressed its appreciation to Japan's cooperation, in return, saying that the work over the past two years since last year's APEC chaired by Japan was attaining results, and asked for Japan's cooperation particularly in the field of green growth.

(2) EAS

Minister Gemba stated that this year's EAS would be a touchstone in that President Obama would participate in it for the first time, and showed his hope to cooperate with the U.S. to achieve substantial results indicating the direction of future cooperation in East Asia. The U.S. side responded that the U.S. had been able to closely coordinate with Japan and it would actively participate in the discussion at Bali.

(3) North Korea

Referring to the recent U.S.-North Korea dialogue, Minister Gemba pointed out the importance of urging North Korea to take concrete actions including immediate suspension of its uranium enrichment activities. In addition, Minister Gemba expressed his gratitude to the U.S. for raising the abduction issue during the dialogue. Secretary Clinton responded by stating that the U.S. side had been raising the abduction issue at every time the U.S. talks with North Korea, thereby urging them to take actions. Both ministers agreed to maintain close coordination among Japan, the U.S. and the Republic of Korea.

(4) Myanmar

Minister Gemba explained that Japan appreciated a series of the recent movements toward democratization in Myanmar, and conveyed such positive view and its supportive stance on the Myanmar government's efforts to Foreign Minister of Myanmar at the Japan-Myanmar Foreign Ministerial Meeting recently held in Tokyo. In response, Secretary Clinton expressed her expectation that the current movement would progress toward a more open regime.

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