Working Dinner between Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida and H.E. Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Director-General, WTO

May 20, 2014

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On May 20, commencing at 6:45 p.m. for around an hour and a half, Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida held a working dinner with H.E. Mr. Roberto Azevedo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), who is visiting Japan upon invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. An overview of discussion at the dinner is as follows.
  1. 1. At the beginning, Minister Kishida highly praised Director-General Azevedo’s leadership in concluding the “Bali Package” in December last year. Additionally, Minister Kishida said the Government of Japan is strongly aware of the importance of the multilateral trading system centered on the WTO, and amid the growing worldwide trend toward protectionism in recent years, the WTO fulfils an important role in deterring protectionism through dispute settlement etc.
     In response, Director-General Azevedo said he is deeply grateful for Japan’s contribution to the WTO, and in particular for Japan’s support in concluding the Bali Package. Additionally, he said where deterring protectionism is concerned, dispute settlement procedures are naturally important but progress with the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) will in itself lead to stronger disciplines for deterring protectionism.
  2. 2. Minister Kishida said that steadily implementing the “Bali Package”, in particular promptly entering into force and implementing the “Trade Facilitation Agreement” is the most important challenge, and Japan intends to utilize its knowledge to contribute to supporting developing countries toward that end. Furthermore, he said in order to make the DDA a success, Japan also wants to contribute to formulating a work program on the remaining issues.
     Director-General Azevedo replied that he will work on promoting more specific and detailed discussions between countries up to the summer in order to formulate the work program by the end of this year, toward concluding the DDA.
  3. 3. In addition to these topics, Minister Kishida and Director-General Azevedo also discussed topics such as Abenomics, including the Government of Japan’s agricultural reforms.

(* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)