Meeting between Foreign Minister Kishida and the State Counsellor of Myanmar
November 3, 2016
On November 3, commencing at 9:45 a.m. for approximately 40 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with H.E. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1 Opening Remarks
Minister Kishida began by extending a heartfelt welcome to Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi on her first visit to Japan as State Counsellor. He stated that he understands the State Counsellor will be visiting Kyoto where she lived previously and will be delivering an address at a university, and hoped that her visit to Japan will be fulfilling. Minister Kishida expressed his view that candid and meaningful talks took place on the previous day between Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and the State Counsellor, and expressed pleasure that they were meeting again after their previous meeting four months earlier in July 2016. He noted that Japan and Myanmar are important partners that share the values of democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law, and that the public and private sectors of Japan would provide steady support for the country.
State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi responded that she was pleased to be visiting Japan. She commented that Japan fully understands the situation of the new administration in Myanmar, and looked forward to their continued collaborations as friends.
2 Bilateral Relationship and Other Points
(1) Minister Kishida stated as follows.
(A) With regard to strengthening regional connectivity between the Mekong region and India, Minister Kishida expressed that Japan would like to discuss concrete projects through which Japan can support the enhancement of connectivity of the Mekong region, and explained that enhancing connectivity with India that respects the rule of law and democracy was important for Myanmar not only economically but also strategically.
(B) In regard to the issue of Rakhine State, Minister Kishida noted that no violence shall be tolerated, commenting on the attacks against the border guard in the previous month. Minister Kishida stated that Japan welcomes Myanmar's efforts towards peace and stability in Rakhine State. In order to support the efforts of Myanmar to ease tensions between the communities, Minister Kishida hoped to provide a new passenger vessel to Myanmar, in addition to the previously announced provision of food assistance for internally displaced people and two used passenger vessels.
(2) In response, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi commented that Myanmar and India have traditionally been friends and that she hoped to enhance connectivity. She stated that the issue of Rakhine State is extremely delicate and needs to be addressed with caution. The State Counsellor explained that the Government of Myanmar was addressing this issue in accordance with the principle of the rule of law, and that Japan's provision of the vessel will contribute not only as a means of transport for the people in Rakhine State but also to its development.
3 Regional and Global Issues
(1) Minister Kishida hoped that as partners sharing common values, the two countries could work together on regional issues, such as the South China Sea issue and North Korea's nuclear, missile, and abduction issues, also from the perspective of strengthening the rule of law. The Minister welcomed Myanmar's decision to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) requested by the Minister when he visited Myanmar in May, and looked forward to working with Myanmar towards the early entry into force and universalization of the treaty. In addition, the Minister stated that Japan stood ready to cooperate with Myanmar for the successful holding of the ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting that the country will chair in 2017.
(2) State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi responded that the Government of Myanmar seeks a peaceful resolution to the international and regional issues.