Meeting Between Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and H.E. Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
On Monday, March 19, commencing at 5:30 p.m. for around 30 minutes, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met with H.E. Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Security, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, who is visiting Japan, at the Prime Minister’s Office. The outline of the meeting is as follows. The meeting was also attended on the Japan side by Mr. Hiroyuki Nagahama, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Akihisa Nagashima, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister; and Mr. Kazuyuki Hamada, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, among others; and on the Timor-Leste side by Ms. Emilia Pires, Minister of Finance; and Mr. Isilio Coelho, Ambassador of Timor-Leste to Japan, among others.
In addition, following the Prime Ministers’ meeting, in the presence of the Prime Ministers, Finance Minister Pires and Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hamada signed notes of exchange concerning a yen loan for the “National Road No.1 Upgrading Project”.
- Opening remarks
Prime Minister Noda expressed gratitude for the support Japan received from Timor-Leste in connection with the Great East Japan Earthquake, and welcomed Prime Minister Gusmão’s visit to Japan, which followed visits by Timor-Leste’s President and Foreign Minister, as this year marks the 10th year of Timor-Leste’s independence and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Timor-Leste. Additionally, Prime Minister Noda noted that Timor-Leste’s presidential election was conducted peacefully on Saturday, March 17, which is evidence that democracy is firmly consolidated in the country, and he praised the leadership of Prime Minister Gusmão, who has led the country to overcome conflict and proceeded steadily ahead with nation building that is based on democracy.
In response, Prime Minister Gusmão said that as pointed out, this year is an important one in terms of 10th anniversaries, and that while Timor-Leste experienced severe circumstances in the past, currently its situation is normalizing and it was also possible to hold the presidential election in a peaceful manner on Saturday, March 17. Prime Minister Gusmão also said that the Ambassador of Timor-Leste to Japan recently hosted a reception to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Timor-Leste, which was attended by 300 invited guests who celebrated the commemorative year.
- Bilateral relations
Prime Minister Noda welcomed the fact that both countries are building future-oriented, amicable and close bilateral relations, and said he hopes to take advantage of this 10th anniversary year as a great opportunity to further strengthen that relationship. He explained that Japan is planning exchanges through sports and traditional culture that will include inviting around 160 young people from Timor-Leste over the coming year. Prime Minister Noda also touched on the fact Timor-Leste’s nation-building is shifting from post-conflict recovery to a fully fledged development stage, and said Japan wants to continue to support Timor-Leste’s nation-building efforts on all fronts, centering on economic cooperation, personnel contributions, and human resources development assistance. As one part of that support, he mentioned that Japan has decided to provide its first loan to Timor-Leste, a yen loan worth around 5.3 billion yen in connection with the “National Road No.1 Upgrading Project,” which is the first loan for Timor-Leste.
In response, Prime Minister Gusmão expressed gratitude for support received from Japan thus far, and said that from Timor-Leste’s standpoint Japan is a special partner. Prime Minister Gusmão expressed thanks in particular for the provision of the yen loan by Japan, and said he is confident the partnership between the two countries and their citizens will be given further strength as a result of yen loans, and that Japan will undoubtedly fulfill a special role in the development of Timor-Leste in the future. Furthermore, Prime Minister Gusmão said Timor-Leste is still at a learning stage, and along with appreciating Japan’s goodwill assistance , he said he believes Timor-Leste must make an effort to further promote social and economic development so that the citizens of Japan and Timor-Leste are not disappointed . Moreover, Prime Minister Gusmão said that from the perspective of cultivating young human resources, the significance of undertaking active exchanges with foreign nations is considerable, and he expressed deep thanks for Japan’s invitation to around 160 young people.
- In addition, Prime Minister Noda said that following on from Timor-Leste’s recent presidential election, Japan is also considering dispatching an election monitoring mission for Timor-Leste’s national parliamentary election, which is scheduled to take place in June this year. He explained that the foundation of nation-building is “the creation of human resources,” and Japan wants to support human resources training in Timor-Leste in a variety of sectors, including accepting cadets into the National Defense Academy of Japan. Furthermore, he said Japan would support Timor-Leste’s smooth admission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as it has been doing thus far.
In response, Prime Minister Gusmão expressed thanks for the acceptance of cadets into the National Defense Academy of Japan and said he wants to continue the dispatch. He said that it is Timor-Leste’s diplomatic goal to join the ASEAN, and he is currently in the process of creating a road map with the Secretariat toward that goal. Prime Minister Gusmão stated that he hopes to follow that road map and make ASEAN membership a reality, and that he wants to strive to develop human resources.
(* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
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