Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting

photo(Foreign Minister Machimura and External Affairs Minister Singh) photo(Japan-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting)

January 6, 2005

On January 6, Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura of Japan held a meeting with Minister of External Affairs Natwar Singh of India in Jakarta, Indonesia on the occasion of the Special ASEAN Leaders' Meeting on Aftermath of Earthquake and Tsunami held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The following is an overview of the meeting.

1. Tsunami disaster

(1) Foreign Minister Machimura stated that the damage caused by the disaster was truly distressing and expressed his heartfelt sympathy and condolences for those affected. Foreign Minister Machimura also appreciated the various assistance measures that India had taken toward its neighboring countries, in spite of being affected itself. Foreign Minister Machimura also stated that Japan intended to offer as much assistance as possible to India, if the Indian side wished.

(2) In response, External Affairs Minister Singh expressed his gratitude for the statements made by Foreign Minister Machimura before stating that India has experiences in having to cope with a wide range of natural disasters and agencies for this purpose, which enables India to make no requests to Japan at this point in time. External Affairs Minister, however also said that it would not hesitate to ask for assistance should something arise.

2. Japan-India economic relations

The two ministers agreed to proceed with preparations aimed at holding the Japan-India Joint Study Group for a Comprehensive Study (JSG-CS) (Note: this is a framework for holding comprehensive consultations with a view to strengthening economic relations) at an early date, if possible in March.

3. United Nations (UN) and Security Council reform

(1) External Affairs Minister Singh noted the significant impact that resulted from continued cooperation between Japan and India in the framework of the G4, namely Japan, Germany, India and Brazil, aimed at UN and Security Council reform. External Affairs Minister Singh stated that when President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation visited India in December 2004, President Putin expressed his support for India becoming a permanent member of the Security Council. External Affairs Minister Singh also stated that India wished to become a permanent member of the Security Council that has veto power.

(2) In response, Foreign Minister Machimura expressed his wish for Japan and India to continue cooperating on this matter and to consider the handling of veto power in the context of the entire reform package.

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