Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary Norio Maruyama
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 4:34 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(1) Visit by Deputy Director-General Gustafson of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Mr. Norio Maruyama, Foreign Press Secretary: Deputy Director-General Daniel Gustafson of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is scheduled to visit Japan from January 28 to February 3 for the Second Japan-FAO Annual Strategic Consultation.
Japan places substantial emphasis on the work of FAO as the leading UN specialized agency in the field of food, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. As the second largest contributor of FAO’s assessed contributions, Japan has been working to strengthen its relationship with FAO. The first Japan-FAO Annual Strategic Consultation was held in January 2017. Director-General Graziano visited Japan in May 2017.
Besides attending the Annual Strategic Consultation, Deputy Director-General Gustafson is also going to deliver a lecture and conduct a job seminar at Meiji University during his visit. He is also scheduled to attend the “Food Loss and Waste Seminar – Let’s change it today!” hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and explain the current situation of food loss worldwide. In addition, Deputy Director-General Gustafson is scheduled to visit Miyagi Prefecture for a tour of sites in the Osaki area that were designated in November 2017 as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System, of which there are nine in Japan. The visit will also include a fish market and tomato and strawberry farms in Ishinomaki City, an area that was heavily affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
(2) Japan’s Friendship Ties Program
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: The Japan Friendship Ties Program began in FY2015. It seeks to promote understanding of Japan through people-to-people exchanges, extend Japan’s foreign policy base, and communicate Japan’s foreign policy orientation and attractiveness, for the purpose of enhancing Japan’s image in the international community and fostering sustained interest in Japan.
Currently about 160 university students and adults from the United States, Canada, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji are visiting Japan at the start of the new year. They are visiting various regions of Japan.
Additionally, 140 high school students, university students, and adults from Viet Nam, Cambodia, the ROK, and the United States are going to visit Japan from January 16. They will tour various regions and interact with local people.
The Ministry hopes to deepen multi-faceted understanding of Japan and actively promote Japan’s appeals through the program.
Japan-FAO Annual Strategic Consultation
Kyodo Press, Takemoto: You mentioned the Annual Strategic Consultation in regard to the FAO Deputy Director-General. What exactly are the topics that will be discussed?
Foreign Press Secretary Maruyama: As I just mentioned, the Japan-FAO Annual Strategic Consultation was initiated by Japan and FAO last year.
FAO engages in very important activities in the areas of food, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, as a UN specialized organization. This Consultation was initiated for the primary purpose of sharing views between FAO and Japan in these areas, thereby coordinating FAO’s activities and Japan’s perspectives.
The first Consultation was held in January 2017. The format and content are expected to be gradually fleshed out in subsequent meetings.