Japan-Myanmar Foreign Ministers' Meeting, Japan-Laos Foreign Ministers' Meeting, Japan-CLV (Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam) Foreign Ministers' Working Dinner and Japan-Thailand Foreign Ministers' Meeting

November 30, 2004

The Japan-Myanmar Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the Japan-Laos Foreign Ministers' Meeting and the Japan-CLV (Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam) Foreign Ministers' Working Dinner took place in Vientiane, Laos on November 27 and the Japan-Thailand Foreign Ministers' Meeting on the following day. The summary of the meetings are as follows. A signing ceremony for the provision of grant aid by Japan to Laos was conducted at the beginning of the Japan-Laos Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

1. Japan-Myanmar Foreign Ministers' Meeting (November 27)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura expressed his wish that Myanmar would steadily implement measures for democratization and swiftly advance the process in a manner that allows the involvement of all the parties concerned despite the change in prime minister. In response, Minister for Foreign Affairs U Nyan Win stated that policies for democratization would continue to be carried out.

Furthermore, to the request by Foreign Minister Machimura for the approval of a visit by Ambassador Ismail Razali, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy to Myanmar, Foreign Minister U Nyan Win responded that some more time was necessary for this to be realized.

2. Japan-Laos Foreign Ministers' Meeting (November 27)

(1) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsavat Lengsavad expressed his gratitude for Japan's assistance for the elimination of poverty and socio-economic development in Laos and further stated his intention to enhance its relationship with Japan through bilateral frameworks as well as the ties between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In addition, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsavat stated that Laos was in support of Japan obtaining a permanent membership in the United Nations (UN) Security Council together with his wish to name next year as "Japan-Laos Year of Tourism."
(2) In response, Foreign Minister Machimura shared that he was pleased that the liaison meetings of ASEAN this time was convened on such a grand scale owing to the efforts put in by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsavat, and expressed his intent that Japan would continue its cooperation with Thailand and Laos on the renovation of Laos's Savannakhet Airport in the Mekong region as Japan places importance on the assistance for the Mekong Region Development as well as the "Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI)." Foreign Minister Machimura also expressed his appreciation for Laos in announcing at an early date its participation to the EXPO 2005 Aichi and made request for Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsavat to visit Japan next year as it marks the 50th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Laos.

3. Japan-CLV (Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam) Foreign Ministers' Working Dinner (November 27, Attendees: Minister for Foreign Affairs Machimura, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh of Cambodia, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Somsavat of Laos and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Van Bang of Viet Nam)

(1) The CLV countries (Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam) requested Japan to extend its cooperation for the development of the "Development Triangle," the impoverished region bordering the three countries, explaining that the development of this region was extremely significant on political and social grounds rather than from an economic standpoint. Furthermore, the CLV countries expressed their support for Japan's view on the UN Reform and for Japan to obtain a permanent membership in the Security Council.
(2) In response, Foreign Minister Machimura noted that he was fully aware that assistance to these impoverished areas was important, and intended to consider what kind of assistance Japan would be able to provide. Foreign Minister Machimura also stated that Japan would continue to provide assistance to Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam as Japan considers them valuable and dear friends.

4. Japan-Thailand Foreign Ministers' Meeting (November 28)

(1) The two ministers agreed to hold close discussions not only on issue concerning their bilateral relations but also regional and international issues.
(2) The two ministers also agreed to conclude the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) at the earliest date possible. Minister of Foreign Affairs Surakiart Sathirathai commented that the conclusion of the JTEPA would symbolize Japan's determination to be involved with ASEAN and carry an important meaning not only for their bilateral relations but also for the Southeast Asian region.
(3) Foreign Minister Surakiart shared his wish to cooperate with Japan on issues concerning Africa and the neighboring countries. Foreign Minister Surakiart also expressed his gratitude for Japan's dispatching Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Keishiro Fukushima to the ministerial meeting of the Ayeyarwady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) which recently took place in Thailand. Foreign Minister Surakiart concluded that it was most pleasing that the cooperation between Japan and Thailand was advancing in their efforts to develop the Savannakhet Airport in Laos which is situated near its border with Thailand.
(4) The two ministers also exchanged opinions on the position of each country regarding UN Reform.

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