Internet Press Chat Conference, 25 May 2006
- Visit to Canada and the United States of America by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
- Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations on the presidential election in Union of Comoros
- Visit to Japan by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Defence of India
- Visit to Japan by Mr. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and his spouse, Madam Nhem Sakhan
- Visit to Japan by Iraqi karate players
- Entry into force of Agreement on Duty-Free Treatment of Multi-Chip Integrated Circuits (MCPs)
- Grant aid to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Deputy Press Secretary Tomohiko Taniguchi: Let me start today's Regular Internet Press Chat Conference. Today, I would like to make several announcements before I take questions.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is scheduled to visit Canada and the United States of America (US), situation permitting, from 27 June (Tue) to 1 July (Sat). The Government of Japan is now making the arrangements with the Governments of Canada and the US.
In Canada, on 28 June (Wed), Prime Minister Koizumi is scheduled to hold Japan-Canada summit meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the first time since Mr. Harper took office in February 2006. Japan and Canada are important partners as G8 member states and Pacific nations. It is expected that the cooperative relations between Japan and Canada will be further deepened through this visit.
Prime Minister Koizumi will pay an official visit to the US on the invitation of President George W. Bush. Official events scheduled for 29 June (Thu) include the Japan-US summit meeting and a state dinner hosted by President Bush. The possibility of Prime Minister Koizumi, together with President Bush, to visit Memphis, Tennessee is being discussed.
II. Statement by the Press Secretary/Director-General for Press and Public Relations on the presidential election in Union of Comoros
Mr. Taniguchi: The Government of Japan estimates that the presidential election in the Union of Comoros has been conducted generally in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
The Government of Japan extends congratulations to the people of the Union of Comoros as well as to Mr. Ahmed Abdallah Sambi on his election as the next President. It is Japan's hope that under the leadership of the new President, the democracy and socio-economic development of Comoros will continue to be promoted.
Mr. Taniguchi: Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Defence of India, will visit Japan from 25 May (Thu) to 28 May (Sun).
During his stay, Mr. Mukherjee will have talks with Mr. Fukushiro Nukaga, Minister of State for Defence and Secretary-General of the Defence Agency, and also exchange opinions with Mr. Shinzo Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Kazuo Kitagawa, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (on matters related to the Japan Coast Guard).
In April last year, the leaders of Japan and India confirmed their will to promote defence minister-level exchanges on a regular basis. The purpose of Mr. Mukherjee's visit is to further strengthen the cooperation between Japan and India in the field of defence and security, taking into account the will of the leaders of both countries.
IV. Visit to Japan by Mr. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and his spouse, Madam Nhem Sakhan
Mr. Taniguchi: Mr. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and his spouse, Madam Nhem Sakhan, will visit Japan from 29 May (Mon) to 3 June (Sat) as Guests of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
During his stay in Japan, Mr. Sar Kheng will meet with key figures of the Government of Japan including Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to exchange views on various issues such as the bilateral relations in politics, economy, cooperation and other areas, the regional situation, terrorism and drugs. Mr. Sar Kheng will also visit Saga Prefecture to have exchanges of views with Mr. Yasushi Furukawa, Governor of Saga, and members of the prefectural assembly.
The upcoming visit by Mr. Sar Kheng and his spouse, Madam Nhem Sakhan, is expected to further deepen the friendly relations between Japan and Cambodia.
Mr. Taniguchi: From 28 May (Sun) to 7 June (Wed), the Government of Japan will invite eight members of the Iraqi Karate Federation and its Al-Muthanna branch, with a view to promoting understanding of and strengthening goodwill toward Japan in Iraq through sports exchange.
During their stay, the visitors, with the cooperation of the Japan Karatedo Federation, the Japan Defense Agency (JDA) and others will participate in training at universities in Tokyo and the Physical Training School of the Self Defense Forces (SDF) and give karate demonstrations at the 45th All SDF Karate Championship. They will also pay courtesy calls on government officials and visit places of interest in Tokyo.
It is expected that through this invitation, the friendly relations with Iraq will be enhanced and Iraqis' understanding toward Japan will be deepened through the spirit of martial arts of karate, Japanese traditional sport.
Mr. Taniguchi: On 24 May (Wed), Japan's instrument of acceptance for the Agreement on Duty-Free Treatment of Multi-Chip Integrated Circuits (MCPs) was deposited to the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, the bailor of the Agreement. The Agreement entered into force in Japan on the same day.
Among the major trading partners of MCPs which have become more widespread as a new technology in recent years, the European Community (EC), the US and the Republic of Korea (ROK) impose tariffs on MCPs under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). (Major countries already extend duty-free treatment to conventional single-chip integrated circuits.)
The Agreement on Duty-Free Treatment of MCPs stipulates that Japan, the EC, the US, the ROK and Taiwan eliminate tariffs on MCPs. (The Agreement entered into force in the four parties not including Japan on 1 April, 2006.)
Mr. Taniguchi: The last item is about Japan's decision to extend grant aid to totaling up to 4.94 billion yen (approximately US$45 million) to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the two projects, "Project for the Improvement of Kararo-Wadh Section of National Highway N-25" and "Project for the Enhancement of Training Capabilities of Construction Machinery Training Institute." The exchange of notes was done yesterday on 24 May (Wed), in Islamabad between Mr. Hiroshi Azuma, Charges d'Affaires ad interim of Japan, and Mr. Khalid Saeed, Secretary to the Government of Pakistan, Economic Affairs Division.
As it seems that there are no questions, I would like to end today's Regular Internet Chat Press Conference.
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