Japan-Palestine Relations

June 27, 2018
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On June 27, the third ministerial meeting of the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) was held in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting hosted by Thailand was co-chaired by Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand and Dr. Riad Al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Palestine.

1 Outline of the Meeting

(1) Time and date: June 27 (Wednesday) from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(2) Venue: Dusit Thani Bangkok

(3) Participants: Representatives of 10 countries and regions, and five international organizations (including 6 ministerial-level participants). 
Participating countries and organizations: Japan, Thailand, Palestine, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt, South Korea, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), World Bank, the League of Arab States, and the office of the Quartet.

(4) Objective: CEAPAD is a consultative framework for Asian countries to consider effective assistance to the Palestinians by mobilizing their own knowledge and resources. In the third ministerial meeting, the participants reviewed the assistance by respective countries and expressed or reaffirmed future assistance. The participants also reaffirmed the importance of UNRWA and expressed their support.

2 Outline of Discussions

(1) At the opening ceremony, following the opening remarks by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of the Kingdom of Thailand H.E. Mr. Juntong, Thai Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Don explained their country's Palestinian aid and expressed his high appreciation for the role of CEAPAD. Foreign Minister Kono stressed the significance of CEAPAD and explained Japan's assistance to the Palestinians (see 3. below) and mentioned the importance of UNRWA. Palestinian Foreign Minister H.E. Dr. Al-Malki expressed his gratitude for the Asian assistance to Palestine including CEAPAD saying that it contributes to the Palestinian state building.

(2) At the meeting, many representatives of the participating countries and organizations made the following remarks and expressed their intention to provide the Palestinians with assistance on the basis of their respective strengths:
  • The role of Thailand, the host country was highly praised. Japan's initiative of launching CEAPAD was highly appreciated.
  • The economic development of Palestine is indispensable in achieving Middle East peace based on a two-state solution. Human resources development, capacity building and private-sector development are key factors for the development. Assistance will be provided in areas such as ICT, agriculture and tourism. 
  • UNRWA's activities are not only for assisting the Palestinian refugees but also essential for the stability in the region. 
(3) After a luncheon hosted by Thai Foreign Minister Don, a joint press conference by Japan, Thailand and Palestine was held, where a joint statement adopted at the meeting was distributed.

3 Japanese Initiatives

Minister Kono explained the Japanese assistance to Palestine as follows:

(1) Japan has implemented capacity building for about 1500 Palestinians since CEAPAD 2. Japan has implemented assistance of about 2 billion USD to Palestine since 1993.

(2) Japan has recently decided to provide about 15 million USD for UNRWA, considering its important role. 

(3) Japan will work on upgrading "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative including developing Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP), enhancing ICT sector in Palestine, and facilitating logistics in the West Bank.

4 Significance and Evaluation

(1) Supported achieving peace in the Middle East based on a "Two-State Solution," by strengthening support for Palestine, utilizing resources of East Asian countries and contributing to creating an environment in which Palestine can have hope. 

(2) Reaffirmed the importance of the activities of UNRWA and sent a message of political support for UNRWA as it is financially in a difficult position.

(3) Strengthened the cooperation between Japan and Asian countries, and promoted internationally Japan's unique approach to peace in the Middle East in parallel with the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative, in order to strengthen the presence of Japan.

(4) Reaffirmed participants' intention to strengthen the CEAPAD secretariat and to hold meetings regularly. Agreed on the activation of CEAPAD.

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