Press Conference 5 October 2004

  1. Assistance in kind for Sudanese refugees in Chad
  2. Upcoming visits by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura to the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
  3. Upcoming strategic dialogue between Japan and the US
  4. Questions concerning Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the Republic of the Philippines
  5. Question concerning possibility of foreign ministers' meeting between Japan and the People's Republic of China

  1. Assistance in kind for Sudanese refugees in Chad

    Press Secretary Hatsuhisa Takashima: Good afternoon and thank you very much for coming to the briefing. Today, I would like to make three announcements before I take questions.

    The first announcement is about the humanitarian assistance for refugees from Darfur, Republic of the Sudan.

    The Government of Japan today decided to provide 700 tents to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to accommodate the 7,000 refugees who fled to the Republic of Chad from the Darfur region in western Sudan. The tents are being transported from Narita airport by a charter flight today and will arrive at N'djamena, the capital of Chad, the day after tomorrow. The tents will be handed over to the staff of UNHCR.

    In addition to this emergency relief assistance, the Government of Japan has already decided, in response to the United Nations (UN) consolidated appeal and the Group of Eight (G8) declaration, to provide humanitarian emergency assistance such as food and medicine in the amount of US$21.0 million.

    The Government of Japan strongly believes that the humanitarian assistance including today's emergency assistance in kind of 700 tents will help improve the living condition of the refugees, thus contributing to the peace and security of the region.

    Related Information (Assistance in Kind for Sudanese Refugees in Chad)
  2. Upcoming visits by Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura to the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

    Mr. Takashima: The second announcement is about the overseas trip of Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura.

    Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura will visit Washington, DC and Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam from 6 to 10 October. During this first trip as the Foreign Minister, Mr. Machimura will meet with Secretary of State Colin Powell of the United States of America on 7 October and the foreign ministers of Asian countries who will gather in Hanoi for the Fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 5) to be held in this capital city of Viet Nam from 6 October.

    Related Information (Japan-The United States Relations)
    Related Information (Japan-Viet Nam Relations)
  3. Upcoming strategic dialogue between Japan and the US

    Mr. Takashima: The third announcement is about the strategic dialogue between Japan and the United States.

    The strategic dialogue between Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yukio Takeuchi and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage of the US will be held in Tokyo on 12 October. The two vice ministers will discuss the various issues of common interest and concern to both nations.

    While staying in Tokyo, US Deputy Secretary of State Armitage will also participate in the Third Donor Committee meeting of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI) which was established one year ago at the International Conference on Reconstruction in Iraq which was held in Madrid. The Government of Japan hopes that this visit of US Deputy Secretary of State Armitage to Tokyo and also Foreign Minister Machimura's visit to Washington, DC will further strengthen the alliance between Japan and the United States.

    Related Information (Japan-The United States Relations)
  4. Questions concerning Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the Republic of the Philippines

    Q: Do you know what the status is regarding negotiations between the Governments of Japan and the Republic of the Philippines on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)?

    Mr. Takashima: The negotiations are well underway, and we hope that in due course, the Agreement will be reached between our two countries and that it will be ready for signing. However, as for when it will be ready, that is still unknown. The two delegations are intensifying the negotiations.

    Q: Are the negotiations on EPA taking place as planned? Is the pace going on as planned, as you had expected?

    Mr. Takashima: The negotiations have been conducted in a very smooth manner. I think both sides so far are satisfied with the pace of the negotiations. We do hope that the Agreement will be reached in due course.

    Related Information (Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA))
  5. Question concerning possibility of foreign ministers' meeting between Japan and the People's Republic of China

    Q: I was wondering if you could tell us if Japan and the People's Republic of China plan to hold a foreign ministers' meeting in Hanoi during ASEM 5?

    Mr. Takashima: The arrangement is now being made, but no final decision has been reached yet.

    Q: Is it possible for you to give us some indication on whether a foreign ministers' meeting will likely take place?

    Mr. Takashima: That still remains to be seen, but we hope that the arrangement will be made.

    Related Information (Japan-China Relations)

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