Japan-US-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Overview)
On September 28, from approximately 11:15 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. (local time), on the margins of the UN General Assembly, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba attended a trilateral Foreign Ministers’ meeting hosted by the U.S. and met with H.E. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States, and H.E. Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The overview of the meeting is as follows. (The previous meeting was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on July 12, 2012.)
1. General Issues
At the outset, the three ministers confirmed that Japan, the U.S. and the ROK share fundamental values and interests, and that it is becoming increasingly important to contribute to the peace and stability in Asia-Pacific region and the entire world through broad cooperation in addressing regional and global challenges, and to deepen trilateral cooperation in light of the current situation in the East Asian region.
2. North Korean Issues
(1)The three ministers reaffirmed the firm unity among Japan, the U.S. and the ROK in addressing the North Korean issues. They also reaffirmed that in order to prevent further provocative actions by North Korea and to lay grounds for dialogues, they would continue to closely coordinate with each other and urge North Korea to take concrete actions, cooperating also with China and Russia.
(2)Minister Gemba explained the current situation concerning the Japan-North Korea Government-level Consultations, and stated that Japan would ensure close contact with the U.S. and the ROK on this matter. Regarding the abductions issue, Minister Gemba expressed gratitude to both the U.S. and the ROK for their support and cooperation to date, and requested their continued cooperation. Moreover, the three ministers concurred that it is especially important for North Korea to comply with its commitments, including the Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks in 2005, mindful of North Korea’s amendment to the Constitutions in April that proclaims itself as a “nuclear state” in the preamble.
Both sides shared the view that a strong partnership among Japan, the U.S., and the ROK is important given the current situation in the East Asian region.
3. Regional and Global Issues
The three ministers exchanged opinions on regional and global issues such as security environment in East Asia including the South China Sea, cooperation with ASEAN member countries, and the situations in Myanmar and Middle East. They affirmed that they would closely cooperate in addressing these regional and global issues.
4. Other Issues
The three ministers highly appreciated that the first meeting of the working-level Steering Group among Japan, the U.S. and the ROK was held in Washington on September 26.
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