Countries & Regions

May 20, 2014
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On May 20, commencing at 3:00 p.m. for approximately 15 minutes, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a courtesy call from H.E. Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), who is visiting Japan, at the Prime Minister’s Office. An overview of the meeting is as follows. (Attending on the WTO side was Chef de Cabinet Tim Yeend, among others. Attending on the Japan side was Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko, among others).

1. The importance of the WTO

At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe welcomed the WTO officials to Japan, and explained that as a trading nation Japan put importance on a multilateral trading system centered on the WTO. Prime Minister Abe said Japan wants to move the WTO solidly forward also, while promoting Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
In response, Director-General Azevedo expressed gratitude for Japan’s constant support for the WTO, and said Japan is an important partner to the Organization. He explained that there were difficult phases involved in concluding the Bali Agreement last year, but thanks to Japan’s support, it was possible to find a way through those phases. Director-General Azevedo said he is thankful for Japan’s cooperation.

2. The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and the “Bali Package”

Director-General Azevedo said that in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations every country has sensitive areas, and unless member countries come out with flexible and realistic solutions, concluding the DDA will be difficult. As with the Bali Package agreement, he hopes to secure Japan’s support for the DDA in order to make the DDA a success.
In response, Prime Minister Abe expressed respect for the role performed by Director-General Azevedo when the Bali Package was concluded. Prime Minister Abe said for next step the implementation of the Agreement is important and Japan intends to cooperate fully, and will also provide support for developing countries.
In addition, Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan also has areas that are sensitive, but a good result is obtainable through the mutual understanding and efforts of each country. Prime Minister Abe also mentioned the agricultural reforms the Abe Administration is vigorously promoting.

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