Japan-Armenia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
September 3, 2018
On September 3, during his visit to the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a foreign ministers’ meeting with H.E. Mr. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia for approximately 60 minutes commencing at 10:30 a.m. local time (3:30 p.m. on the same day Japan time). The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1. Beginning of the meeting
Minister Kono expressed his pleasure of becoming the first Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan to visit Armenia, and stated that Armenia has rich history, culture and traditions, and is an important partner that shares fundamental values with Japan. Minister Kono appreciated that Armenia’s change of administration in May this year took place in a democratical and peaceful manner, and expressed his hope to further strengthen the two countries’ amicable relations. Minister Mnatsakanyan sincerely welcomed Minister Kono’s visit to Armenia, and stated that he would make every effort to further strengthen the bilateral relationship.
2. Bilateral relations
Minister Kono statedthat the Caucasus region is a gateway connecting Asia and Europe, and espressed Japan’s willingness to cooperate for self-sustained developmens of this region. Minister Kono explained to the Armenian side the “Japan’s Caucasus Initiative”, which comprises the two pillars: (1) assistance for human resource development of architects for state building (human resources development); and (2) assistance for paving the way to “Appealing Caucasus”(infrastructure development and business environment improvement support) , and expressed his expectation towards the further development of the cooperative relations between the two countries. In response, Minister Mnatsakanyan expressed his desireto carry out more concrete cooperation for strengthening the bilateral relations between Japan and Armenia. In addition, the two ministers discussed the way of cooperation in the field of the economy, including information technology (IT), tourism and innovation, and in the field of people-to-people exchanges, making use of the Japan-Armenia Investment Agreement, which was signed in February this year as a stepping stone for that purpose. In this context, Minister Kono informed Japan’s decision to ease visa requirements for nationals of Armenia (beginning of insurance of multiple entry visas for short-term stay). Minister Mnatsakanyan requested Japan’s assistance for a general election to be expected in near the future, and Minister Kono responded by stating that Japan is prepared to take part in international assistance for the election.
3. Regional Affairs
The two ministers also exchanged views on cooperation in the international arena including United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform, and regional affairs including the situations in the East Asia, the Caucasus region and the Middle East. With regard to the North Korea situation, Minister Kono explained the importance of fully implementing of the relevant UNSC resolutions, and his view was shared by Minister Mnatsakanyan.
Following the conclusion of the foreign ministers’ meeting, the two ministers held a joint press announcement.