The First Meeting of the Japan-Belarus Joint Committee for the Cooperation to Advance Aftermath Response
- On July 18, the first meeting of the Japan-Belarus Joint Committee for the Cooperation to Advance Aftermath Response was held in Minsk. From the Japanese side, 11 officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Mr. Takeshi Hikihara, Deputy Director-General of the European Affairs Bureau; the Reconstruction Agency; the Cabinet Office; the Ministry of the Environment (MOE); the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF); the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW); the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) attended the meeting. From the Belarusian side, headed by Mr. Vladimir Chernikov, Chief of the Department of Mitigation of the Consequences of the Catastrophe at the Chernobyl NPP, Ministry for Emergency Situations, 13 officials in total from the aforementioned ministry, the Ministry of Forestry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, and the Ministry of Public Health attended the meeting.
At the meeting, discussions mainly revolved around the following agenda items and opinions were exchanged on issues such as the current condition of the nuclear power plant after the accident and future policy.
- Efforts for reconstruction and rebirth after the accident at the nuclear power station
- Review of evacuation zones
- Radioprotection measures
- Compensation for nuclear damages
Major results of the meeting are as follows:
(1) From the Belarusian side, measures taken in the past 27 years concerning each of the agenda items and current problems were explained based on the experience from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station accident. At the same time, the Belarusian side stated that they would also like to provide as much support as possible in the future for the measures to be taken against the accident in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and made a suggestion concerning the possibility of implementing a joint project based on the demand of the Japanese side. The Japanese side expressed gratitude for all the assistance received from Belarus at the time of the earthquake. The Japanese side also provided an explanation to the Belarusian side on the current conditions and issues following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and on medium-to long-term policies. Furthermore, the Japanese side requested the continued close sharing of information with the Belarusian side.
(2) Both parties confirmed that the meeting of the Joint Committee should be held periodically and time for the second meeting will be arranged through diplomatic channels.