Japan-Iraq Relations

September 26, 2014
On September 26, commencing at 9:10 a.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a Japan-Iraq Foreign Ministers' Meeting with Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (The other attendees included Mr. Mouhammad Jawad Al-Doraky, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Multilateral Relations, from Iraq's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, Deputy Vice-Minister for Foreign Policy/Director-General, and Mr. Tsukasa Uemura, Director-General, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

1. Opening Remarks

Minister Kishida congratulated Minister al-Jaafari on the formation of the new Government of Iraq and his appointment as foreign minister and stated that Japan wanted to cooperate closely with Iraq to further strengthen their two countries’ relations and to contribute to the stabilization of the Middle East region. Minister al-Jaafari responded that the Government of Japan and the Japanese people are regarded with extremely high esteem in Iraq, including the contribution made by Japan after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, and expressed the wish to further strengthen Japan-Iraq relation in the future.

2.The situation in Iraq (ISIL)

Minister Kishida described how the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was a serious threat that could debilitate not only Iraq but also the international order, and that the stability of the Government of Iraq and to achieve reconciliation among the people of Iraq that transcends religious and ethnicity are essential in combating ISIL. Minister Kishida also stated that Japan supported the fight against ISIL by the international society including Iraq and that it would not hesitate to provide Iraq with the cooperation it needs, Minister Kishida also stated that he hoped that this would result in the degrading and destruction of ISIL.
In addition, Minister Kishida expressed that Japan had decided to provide an additional 20 million US dollars of humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons within Iraq, through international agencies, and that together with assistance for neighboring countries, Japan had decided to donate a total of appropriately 25.5 million US dollars to support efforts to combat ISIL, and that it would continue to support Iraq toward its stabilization and national unity. Minister al-Jaafari expressed his sincere gratitude for the support and assistance from Japan. Minister al-Jaafari also stated that Iraq currently faces a difficult situation due to the threat posed by ISIL and that it needed the support of the international community, including Japan, not only in the area of public security, but also for humanitarian assistance and infrastructure improvements.

3. Bilateral relations

Minister Kishida stated that Japan intends to continue cooperation both in public and private sector towards the medium and long term development and stability of Iraq. He also expressed the hope that Minister al-Jaafari demonstrates leadership toward further participation of Japanese companies in various projects in Iraq, including in the energy and power sectors, as well as the improvement of investment environment. Minister Kishida also noted that the stability of public security in Iraq was vital in order for more Japanese companies to invest in Iraq and that he conveyed the request to secure the stability of public security and the safety of Japanese citizens visiting Iraq. Minister al-Jaafari replied that the improvement of public security and economic development were two wheels of the car that would lead to political stability. Minister Kishida stated that the government of Iraq requests the expansion of investment and it will work to improve public security in order to achieve this end.

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