Press Conference, 9 May 2006
- Presentation ceremony of the project for providing equipment for Al-Muthanna border police
- Grant aid to Republic of Nicaragua for a project for the construction of Boaco General Hospital
- Technical assistance to the Republic of Panama
- Great Egyptian Construction Project
- Environmental Pollution Abatement Project in Egypt
- Yen loan to Republic of Tunisia
- Japan-China Comprehensive Policy Dialogue
- Japan-Russia joint coast guard exercise
- Protocol of 1996 to Amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976
- Appointment of Mr. Motoo Noguchi as International Judge of Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia
- Mr. Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Visit the United States
- Visit to Japan by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern of Ireland
- Visit to Japan by Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- Visit to Japan by Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the United Nations
- Follow-up questions concerning the Japan-China Comprehensive Policy Dialogue
Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi: Let me just begin by introducing in reverse order, some of the official development assistance (ODA) projects.
On 8 May in Samawah Camp where the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JDSDF) personnel are stationed there was a small ceremony for a project for providing equipment for the Al-Muthanna border police. Last year in August, the Government of Japan decided to extend a grassroots and human security grant aid that would amount to approximately 100 million yen (approximately US$933, 800) so that police patrol cars and communication equipment would be provided to the border police of Al-Muthanna. So this is part of that agreed project.
On that day, 8 May, the ceremony was conducted to celebrate the donation of police patrol cars and communication equipment to the Al-Muthanna border police.
By the way, the Al-Muthanna region shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, one that is as long as 300km. At the moment 14 check points have been created, but the necessary equipment, such as communication equipment, has been in severe shortage so it is to be hoped the provision of grant aid for that purpose will improve the situation.
Mr. Taniguchi: In Nicaragua 5 May (Fri) an exchange of letters was conducted between the Government of Japan and the Government of Nicaragua about a grant aid for Boaco Hospital. Nicaragua remains one of the poorest nations after the civil war ended in 1989 where more than 50% of the populace remains under the poverty line. The hospital in question is a former warehouse and is getting older and older. This project is aimed to improve the facility and better the quality of medical services provided there.
The agreed amount of money is going to be up to 1.3 billion yen (approximately US$11.7 million).
Mr. Taniguchi: In the Republic of Panama there was also an exchange of letters about technical assistance to allow the flow of Japanese experts and so-called senior volunteers on a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) basis to the Republic of Panama.
With the signing of this agreement the Government of Japan has so far had 62 such agreements with Latin American nations that enable JICA experts and senior volunteers to enter the nations in question with some level of diplomatic privileges and so on. So it is also to be hoped that the signing of this agreement will smooth the sending of Japanese JICA experts to the Republic of Panama.
Mr. Taniguchi: Two items in Egypt. On 1 May an exchange of letters was conducted in Cairo, Egypt between the two governments of Egypt and Japan about the project to build a new museum in Giza region near Cairo.
The amount of the money is up to 34.8 billion Japanese yen (approximately US$310 million) to help the Egyptian Government to create a new museum in Giza to accommodate some of the goods formerly displayed in an older museum.
Mr. Taniguchi: One other item in Egypt; the Government of Japan decided to extend yen loan amounting to 4.7 billion Japanese yen (approximately US$42 million). The exchange of letters was conducted on 30 April. The project is the Environmental Pollution Abatement Project so that companies in the Great Cairo Metropolitan Area will be able to enhance their capacity to prevent environmental pollution from occurring.
The amount of money which is going to be given to the Egyptian Government in the form of a yen loan is going to be the base money with which financial institutions in Egypt can provide loans to Egyptian companies for that purpose.
Mr. Taniguchi: One last item about ODA is that on 29 April in Tunisia an exchange of letters was also conducted between the two governments of the Republic of Tunisia and Japan. This was to help the rural water supply project in a place called Jendouba, Tunisia. The amount of money is going to be up to 5.4 billion Japanese yen (approximately US$48 million).
This project is to help improve the water supply facilities in the North Western part of Tunisia where the water supply is in the worst condition compared to other parts of the region.
Mr. Taniguchi: The next one is about the Japan-China Comprehensive Dialogue that has just ended. Five points have been agreed.
Number one, both parties, the Japanese and the Chinese Government have agreed to start scheduling a bilateral meeting between the two foreign ministers. Through diplomatic channels it is agreed that both parties will seek the possibility of holding a foreign ministerial meeting between the two nations and start scheduling for that purpose.
Secondly, in mid-May (week of 15 May) it is agreed that the fifth bilateral talk about the East China Sea is going to be held. Where it is going to be held is also under discussion.
Thirdly, it is also agreed to resume talks as soon as possible about how to recapture the abandoned chemical weapons.
Fourth item is that both parties have agreed to cooperate closely so that the Six-Party Talks about the North Korean situation will be resumed as soon as possible.
Fifthly, considering that the first group of Chinese high school students will be coming to Japan 16 May, officially kicking off the Japan-China 21st Century Exchange Project, the Chinese side has decided to start as soon as possible to invite Japanese high school students to China.
So, all together five items were agreed on between Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi of Japan and Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo of China. So that is about the Comprehensive Policy Dialogue between Japan and China.
Mr. Taniguchi: As I have briefly mentioned before there was a joint exercise between the two coast guards of Japan and Russia on 4 May (Thu). On the following day, 5 May (Fri) there was a talk between the heads of the two coast guards in Russia.
Commandant Hiroki Ishikawa from Japan Coast Guard who was joined by Senior Admiral Viktor Pronichev, Head of the Russian Border Service and First Deputy Director of Russian Federal Security Service, went to inspect a joint coast guard exercise, off Vladivostok, the first such attempt to try to prevent terrorist activities from happening. The joint exercise was conducted on 4 May in Russia. The following day, 5 May, there was a talk between the two heads, Commander Ishikawa and Senior Admiral Pronichev. The joint exercise was observed by the representatives of three nations, Republic of Korea (ROK), China and the United States (US).
Mr. Taniguchi: Now a couple of other announcements. The first one is about a new protocol that Japan has decided to join.
There was actually a treaty created in 1976 about maritime claim and liabilities. And there was a new protocol created in 1996 to increase the maximum amount of liabilities or claims associated with maritime accidents. Japan decided to join this protocol called Protocol of 1996 to Amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976. On 3 May, a relevant document was handed to Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropulas of the International Maritime Organization in London.
Mr. Taniguchi: On 8 May, the Royal Government of Cambodia decided to appoint Mr. Motoo Noguchi as International Judge of Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia.
Mr. Taniguchi: Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Yasuhisa Shiozaki is now visiting the United States. He is going to take part in the Public Meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Sudan.
Today, 9 May in New York the UN Security Council is going to hold ministerial-level talks and Senior Vice-Minister Shiozaki will be attending this to explain what the Government of Japan has done in trying to ameliorate the situation in Darfur, Sudan. For example the Government of Japan has already provided US$33 million to help improve the human rights situation and also to help improve the peacekeeping operations Japan has already provided US$5 million
Those will be some of the things that Senior Vice-Minister Shiozaki will be touching on.
Mr. Taniguchi: Next is about the visit by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern of Ireland to Japan. He is scheduled to visit Japan 9 May to 11 May (Tue to Thu).
During his stay Mr. Ahern will meet Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso to exchange views about the international situation and bilateral relationships.
XIII. Visit to Japan by Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Mr. Taniguchi: Now two more items, there is going to be a visit of Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to Japan. She will visit Japan from 11 May to 15 May. During her stay she will meet Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino in addition to government officials of Japan. This will be her seventh visit to Japan.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the United Nations, accompanied by Mrs. Annan, will visit Japan from 16 to 19 May (Tue to Fri) as guests of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
During his stay in Japan, Secretary-General Annan will have talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, and Foreign Minister Taro Aso, to exchange views on various international issues including UN Security Council reform.
On 18 May (Thu), Secretary-General Annan will give a lecture on Japan's contribution to the United Nations at the Yasuda Auditorium of the University of Tokyo, on the occasion of receiving an honorary doctorate from the university.
Secretary-General Annan's visit is expected to contribute to deeper understanding by the UN of the fact that Japan, which in 2006 celebrates the 50th year of its accession to the UN, has steadily built up international cooperation through the UN, and will continue to respect and attach importance on the UN in conducting its diplomacy. The Government of Japan also hopes that this visit will further advance cooperative relations between Japan and the UN.
Q: Regarding the Japan-China Comprehensive Policy Dialogue you mentioned that it just ended today. So it took place from Sunday until just today?
Mr. Taniguchi: Actually yes the official talks ended yesterday. It was scheduled to extend until today, but the talks finished earlier.
Q: And you mentioned that both parties have agreed to start scheduling the bilateral talks between the two foreign ministers, would this be this month on the sidelines of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue?
Mr. Taniguchi: I have no idea about it.
Q: But does the Foreign Ministry have some kind of impression or feeling that it could be sooner like within a month?
Mr. Taniguchi: Well the sooner the better of course, but I do not have any information at the moment when exactly they are talking about.
Q: Just to confirm about the meeting concerning the East China Sea. This is 15 May?
Mr. Taniguchi: The week of 15th. The exact date is not decided yet. So it is going to be sometime in the week of 15 May.
Back to Index