Speeches by the Foreign Minister

July 25, 2013


  • I would like to make an address at the beginning of the Fourth Ministerial-Level Meeting of the Four-Party Consultative Unit for the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity."
  • Seven years have just passed since then Prime Minister Koizumi visited Jericho in 2006 and presented the initiative of the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" as a medium-to long-term approach for ensuring that the people in the region are able to enjoy a peace dividend and to promote confidence among the concerned parties, especially for Israelis and Palestinians.
  • During the past seven years, the Middle East has experienced unprecedented political turbulence and the Middle East Peace Process has long remained static. However, the Four Parties gathered here have consistently made efforts for the development of the Palestinian economy under the initiative of the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity."
  • It is with great pleasure that the ministers of the Four Parties have joined together here today for the first time in five years and reaffirmed our strong commitment to achieving further progress of the initiative, and this is all thanks to the accumulation of patient efforts from all sides.
  • I am confident that the holding of today’s meeting and the results thereof will provide a ray of hope to all the concerned members of the international community aspiring to realize peace in the region.

(Discussion on the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park and new cooperative efforts)

  • The Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP), a flagship project of the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity,” is a large project which will generate new employment for 7,000 people, more than 1% of the workforce in the West Bank. A total of 20-30,000 people, including the families of workers, will benefit from this project.
  • The Four Parties have patiently made efforts towards the development of JAIP. Among them, Japan has proactively supported infrastructure development such as the development of roads, solar power generation systems, water supply and sewage systems, and administrative buildings, as well as the cultivation of human resources through technical cooperation.
  • As a result of these efforts, JAIP has moved one step closer to the commencement of production activities. I am very pleased to learn that 24 firms have expressed their intention to enter JAIP, some of whom have already signed contracts or are intending to sign a contract with JAIP.
  • It will not be long before these firms expand sales channels for their agricultural products, which include dates, dairy products, and herbs, to the West Bank, Jordan, and further afield to the Gulf Arab states.
  • In addition to the above, for the purpose of further expanding the capability of JAIP, we have urged East Asian countries to participate in JAIP at the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) launched last February. Moreover, in his previous visits to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe encouraged the leaders of those countries to invest in JAIP.
  • On the other hand, JAIP still has a long way to go. Although we have sorted out our future responses at the working-level meeting held earlier this month, greater cooperation is required between each of the Four Parties in order to ensure the early realization of the agreement. Therefore, I would like to confirm our commitments in today’s meeting.
  • Based on the confirmed commitments, I would like to begin discussion on new cooperative efforts following JAIP. For example, I would like to suggest discussion by the Four Parties on the development of tourism by attracting private sector investment both domestically and internationally to create a “Corridor for Tourism” that allows the free movement of tourists within the region.


  • Amid the turbulent regional situations, the realization of peace in the Middle East peace will serve as the cornerstone of stability in the region. With this recognition in mind, and with continued inter-regional cooperation, the Government of Japan will maintain support for Palestinian economic development and contribute to the realization of a “two-state solution.”
  • Moreover, the Government of Japan welcomes the announcement by Mr. John Kerry, the Secretary of State of the United States, that an agreement to establish a basis for resuming direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian sides has been reached. It is essential that sincere dialogues and negotiations are held between the concerned parties following said agreement. The Government of Japan will continue to support dialogue between the concerned parties and the efforts of the United States through initiatives such as the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity.”
  • Finally, I sincerely hope that both Israel and Palestinian sides will make the most of this precious opportunity and make the courageous decision to resume negotiations. Thank you for listening.


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