Press Conference by the Deputy Press Secretary, 28 June 2012

  1. United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
  2. Japan-Slovakia Summit Meeting
  3. Japan-Slovakia Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  4. Visit to Japan by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulakalala, Kingdom of Tonga
  5. Japan-Tunisia Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  6. Japan-New Zealand Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  7. Election of a New President in Egypt
  8. Visit to Japan by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines
  9. Visit to Japan by the Prime Minister of Georgia
  10. World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku

1. United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Deputy Press Secretary Ms. Naoko Saiki: Good afternoon. I would like to start by touching upon several topics.

Ms. Saiki: First, on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The conference, Rio+20, was held from 20-22 June in Brazil. A total of approximately 40,000 people, including 98 leaders and many ministerial level figures from 188 United Nations member countries and three observer entities, as well as government officials, lawmakers, local administrations, international organizations, enterprises, and citizens, participated in the conference. From the government of Japan, a delegation which consisted of 130 people, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Nagahama, and officials from relevant ministries, as well as government advisors, participated.

Minister Gemba, who participated in the conference as the representative of the Government of Japan, made a speech on behalf of the Government of Japan on 20 June, and also served as acting chairperson on the plenary meeting on 21 June. Minister Gemba also attended the "Japan Evening" on 20 June and an official side even hosted by the Government of Japan on 21 June.

Moreover, Minister Gemba held bilateral meetings with Minister for External Relations Patriota of Brazil, the host nation, and with Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Mashabane of South Africa.

In the speech, Foreign Minister Gemba announced that the Government of Japan will implement the "Green Future" Initiatives based on the idea of "human security". He explained the initiatives in detail. In fact, Japan's "Green Future" Initiatives consist of three pillars: first is the spreading of "Future City" initiative worldwide; second, the contributing to the global transition to a green economy; third, the building of a resilient society.

2. Japan-Slovakia Summit Meeting

Ms. Saiki: Second, on a Japan-Slovakia Summit Meeting. Yesterday, on 27 June, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting with President of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Gasparovic, who is currently visiting Japan.

On bilateral relations, Prime Minister Noda stated that, in looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year, he hopes to further expand the scope of the good bilateral relations through various specific projects such as the social security agreement and academic exchange between universities. President Gasparovic shared that view and invited Prime Minister Noda to Slovakia.

With respect to Japan-EU relations, Prime Minister Noda emphasized the importance of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and requested the support of Slovakia toward the commencement of negotiations. President Gasparovic agreed to the importance of the Japan-EU EPA and stated his wish to cooperate with Japan in a mutually beneficial manner. The two leaders further exchanged opinions on the European debt crisis.

Moreover, the two leaders shared the conviction that the reform of the United Nations Security Council is necessary, and President Gasparovic expressed his support for Japan becoming a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.

3. Japan-Slovakia Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Ms. Saiki: Third, on a Japan-Slovakia Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Also yesterday, on 27 June, Foreign Minister Gemba held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Miroslav Lajcak of the Slovak Republic.

The two ministers confirmed their intentions to develop bilateral relations in various sectors. Then Minister Gemba requested that the EU's restrictions on food imports be eased further. In response, Minister Lajcak stated that Slovakia also wants to contribute in moving forward with easing the restrictions.

Like Prime Minister Noda, Foreign Minister Gemba again emphasized the importance of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, and requested the support of Slovakia toward a prompt commencement of negotiations. Minister Lajcak responded that Slovakia is placing an emphasis on free trade and will strive to make a constructive response.

With respect to the cooperation in the international arena, the two ministers shared the view that the development of Afghanistan is of critical importance, and on that particular point, Minister Lajcak stated that he will cooperate to make the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July a success.

4. Visit to Japan by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulakalala, Kingdom of Tonga

Ms. Saiki: Fourth, on a visit to Japan by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulakalala of the Kingdom of Tonga. On 25 June, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba made a courtesy call on His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulakalala.

Minister Gemba stated that Japan would like to continue to cooperate on the development of Tonga in various sectors such as the promotion of renewable energy, and would like to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries. Crown Prince Tupouto'a Ulakalala expressed his gratitude for the major contribution of Japan's economic cooperation to Tonga's national development and to the improvement of the living standard of Tonga's citizens.

5. Japan-Tunisia Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Ms. Saiki: Fifth, on a Japan-Tunisia Foreign Ministers' Meeting. On 26 June, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba held a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Rafik Abdessalem of the Republic of Tunisia, who was on an official visit to Japan upon invitation by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Prior to the meeting, a signing ceremony was held for the joint statement between the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Japan and of the Republic of Tunisia, which sets out the content of and approaches to future bilateral cooperation in various sectors of politics, the economy and economic cooperation, and on regional affairs and cooperation in the international arena.

The two ministers shared the intention to establish a mutually beneficial relationship, building upon the past excellent bilateral relations, through high-level visits, meetings of the Japan-Tunisia Joint Committee, Japan's economic cooperation, triangular technical cooperation, academic cooperation, and the defense exchange.

6. Japan-New Zealand Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Ms. Saiki: Sixth, on a Japan-New Zealand Foreign Ministers' Meeting. On 25 June, Foreign Minister Gemba held a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully of New Zealand, who visited Japan.

On the bilateral relations between the two countries, minister Gemba stated that restoring disaster-stricken regions and building nations that are resilient to natural disasters are challenges common to both Japan and New Zealand. In response, Minister McCully stated that New Zealand wants to learn lessons from various natural disasters and following reconstruction efforts being made in Japan.

With respect to the cooperation in the Pacific Islands region, the two ministers discussed the success of and the related cooperation at the Sixth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 6).

And on economy and trade-related issues, they touched upon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The two foreign ministers exchanged explanations and views concerning the respective domestic situations in Japan and in New Zealand, and confirmed that Japan and New Zealand will remain continuously in close contact on the matter.

Furthermore, the two ministers exchanged opinions on the situation in Afghanistan, the situation in Northeast Asia, and a framework for regional cooperation, including East Asia Summit, and agreed to proceed with close consultation and cooperation over these important regional issues.

7. Election of a New President in Egypt

Ms. Saiki: Seventh, on the election of a new president in Egypt. Japan welcomes the election of Dr. Mohamed Morsy, the leader of the Freedom and Justice Party, as the new president of Egypt on 24 June through a peaceful and fair election amid the historical reforms in Egypt.

The Government of Japan will continue to support Egypt's efforts for realization of democratization, and economic and social reforms.

8. Visit to Japan by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines

Ms. Saiki: Eighth, on a visit to Japan by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines. From yesterday, 27 June to tomorrow, 29 June, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario of the Philippines is visiting Japan upon invitation by the Minister for Foreign Affairs

9. Visit to Japan by the Prime Minister of Georgia

Ms. Saiki: Ninth, on a visit to Japan by the Prime Minister of Georgia. Prime Minister Nika Gilauri of Georgia will be visiting Japan from today, 28 June to tomorrow, 29 June.

10. World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku

Ms. Saiki: Lastly, just to remind, on the World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction in Tohoku to be held next week. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the other relevant ministries of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency, the relevant local governments and the relevant international organizations will co-host the Conference on 3 and 4 July in Sendai-City, Miyagi Prefecture; Ichinoseki-City, Iwate Prefecture; Ishinomaki-City, Miyagi Prefecture; and Fukushima-City, Fukushima Prefecture.
 
Flyers of this Conference are available in this room.

With these initial announcements, I would be happy to take whatever questions you may have. Are there any questions?

If there are none, I would like to end here. Thank you.


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