Press Conference, 15 January 2009
- Statement on the situation in the Gaza Strip
- Statement on Iraq's ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)
- Visit to Japan by Chairman of the Federation Council Sergey Mikhailovich Mironov of the Russian Federation
- Statement on the Mekong-Japan Exchange Year 2009
Deputy Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura: Good afternoon.
I have a few announcements.
First, concerning the situation in the Gaza Strip, Ambassador Tatsuo Arima, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East, visited Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories in an effort to approach the leaders so that both Israel and the Palestinian militants immediately halt fighting and reach a durable ceasefire agreement. Ambassador Arima met with Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit of Egypt on Sunday, the 11th, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit of Israel on Wednesday, the 14th. In his meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister, Ambassador Arima conveyed Prime Minister Aso's message and urged Israel to accord to UNSC Resolution 1860 as well as the Egyptian mediation efforts and to stop fighting immediately by stating that the rocket-assault by the Palestinian militants should be blamed and that the Israeli counter-attacks have also, deplorably, caused many civilian casualties. Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone also talked with Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit on Tuesday, the 13th, and expressed his great appreciation for the Egyptian mediation efforts and his strong hope that these efforts would bring about a durable ceasefire.
Mr. Kawamura: Second, on Iraq's ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention or CWC. Japan greatly welcomes Iraq's ratification of the CWC. This is a significant step toward advancing disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the international community. Japan will continue urging other countries that have not yet ratified to immediately conclude the CWC and will continue to make efforts to further promote disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
III. Visit to Japan by Chairman of the Federation Council Sergey Mikhailovich Mironov of the Russian Federation
Mr. Kawamura: Third, Russia's Chairman of the Federation Council Sergey Mikhailovich Mironov is now visiting Japan en route to Russia after attending the 17th Organizing Committee of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, also known as APPF, in Laos. Foreign Minister Nakasone had also attended the reception of the Committee. This evening, the two are scheduled to hold a meeting.
Mr. Kawamura: Fourth, and last, in conjunction with Foreign Minister Nakasone's visit to Cambodia and Laos over the past weekend, the Foreign Minister will host the opening reception of the Mekong-Japan Exchange Year 2009 in Tokyo on Tuesday, the 20th. Japan and the five countries in the Mekong region, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, will carry out exchange projects covering wide-ranging fields throughout the year. This year, 2009, is the final year of "the Japan-Mekong Region Partnership Program," which is to support ASEAN integration and promote development in the Mekong Region.
That's all from me.
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