Foreign Minister MOTEGI Visits Guatemala
The Fourth Japan-SICA Foreign Ministers' Meeting
On July 16, commencing at 12:30 p.m. (local time; on July 17, 3:30 a.m. JST) for approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting the Republic of Guatemala, held the 4thJapan-SICA(Central American Integration System) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in a face-to-face and partly virtual format. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
- H.E. Mr. Pedro BROLOVila, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala and the General Secretariat of SICA, expressed his pleasure at holding the first Japan-SICA Foreign Ministers' Meeting in 11 years and expressed his hope to further strengthen the relationship among the countries. Minister Motegi stated that he was delighted to hold a meeting with the foreign ministers of SICA on the occasion of the bicentennial of the independence of Central American countries. He further stated that he hoped to hold a candid exchange of views on the post-COVID-19 international order. The SICA member states welcomed Minister Motegi's visit to Central America and expressed their appreciation for the good relationship they have with and the support they have received from Japan. They also welcomed the hosting of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and expressed their best wishes for the success of the Games.
- Minister Motegi and the foreign ministers of SICA exchanged views on measures against COVID-19 infections, disaster prevention, climate change, environment, Central American migration issues, employment, and the post-COVID-19 economy. Minister Motegi explained that medical equipments and "Last One Mile Support" have been provided to counter COVID-19 infections. He also expressed his sympathy for the damage caused by Hurricanes Eta and Iota last year, and explained that Japan is providing support to strengthen disaster prevention capacity in Central America, which are at risk of hurricanes and earthquakes, based on Japan's experience in disaster prevention. He also explained Japan’s initiatives on poverty, public security, and disasters, which are the root causes of Central America’s migration issues. While emphasizing the serious impact of COVID-19 and climate change on the SICA countries, the foreign ministers of SICA expressed their appreciation for the solidarity and support that Japan has shown the Central American countries.
- Minister Motegi explained the basic policy on the release of ALPS(Advanced Liquid Processing System) treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station(FDNPS) into the ocean. He explained that Japan will work closely with the IAEA, follow proper procedures based on scientific evidence, and respond in a safe manner that is in accordance with international standards. He was able to gain an understanding of the SICA countries.
- They also discussed the regional situation, such as North Korea, the East and South China Seas and the cooperation in the international arena. Minister Motegi introduced Japan's efforts to achieve a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" and called for cooperation in maintaining and strengthening a free and open international order based on the rule of law, which obtained the support of the other Ministers. Minister Motegi also asked for their understanding and cooperation for the immediate resolution of the abduction issue. It was confirmed that Japan and SICA countries would continue to cooperate in the international arena.
[Reference] Central American Integration System (Sistema de la Integración Centroamericana (SICA))
A framework for regional cooperation in Central America consisting of eight countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. The goal is to achieve peace, freedom, democracy, and development through economic and social integration in the region. Japan serves as an extra-regional observer and promotes cooperation.