Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi's Visit to Sri Lanka and India
(Summary and Evaluation)

January 2003

I. Itinerary

January 5 (Sun.)
Departure from Tokyo, arrival at Colombo (via Bangkok)
January 6 (Mon.)
Observation of mine clearance activities in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka
Discussions with members of Japanese non-governmental organizations, Japanese members of international organizations in Sri Lanka, and members of Japanese governmental organizations
Meeting with Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando
Courtesy call on President Chandrika Kumaratunga
Courtesy call on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe; dinner hosted by Prime Minister Wickremasinghe
January 7 (Tue.)
Departure from Colombo, arrival at Delhi
Tour of newly opened Delhi Metro, a yen-loan project and a symbol of Japan-India economic cooperation
Meeting with Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha; dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Sinha
January 8 (Wed.)
Courtesy call on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Courtesy call on President APJ Abdul Kalam
Policy speech at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
Departure from Delhi
January 9 (Thu.)
Arrival at Narita

II. Evaluation and Summary

1. Sri Lanka

  1. This was the first time in 16 years for a Japanese foreign minister to visit Sri Lanka, where peace efforts are in progress. As the first foreign minister of a major country to visit the conflict-striken region of Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi toured the site of mine clearance activities by an international NGO.
  2. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi met with the president, prime minister, and foreign minister of Sri Lanka. In those meetings, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi explained Japan's measures and stance with regard to assistance in the peace process, including the appointment of Mr. Yasushi Akashi as representative of the Government of Japan and Japan's initiative toward the "consolidation of peace." The Sri Lankan side reiterated its appreciation and strong hope for contributions by Japan.
  3. Both sides confirmed their intention to prepare for the conference on the reconstruction of Sri Lanka to be held in Tokyo this June in close contact and with the cooperation of major donor countries and international organizations.
  4. The following new contributions from Japan were announced:
    1. Grass-roots grant aid for three mine clearance projects by international NGOs
    2. Grant Assistance for a community support project (restoration of schools and construction of public halls) by a Japanese NGO
    3. Yen loans for six projects in fiscal 2003 (one of which will include a pilot project in the northern and eastern regions with a view to providing support in these areas in the future)
    4. Grant aid for Water Supply Project in the drought-afflicted southern region

2. India

  1. The purpose of the visit was to further strengthen and substantiate, from strategic perspectives, the global partnership between Japan and India that was formed through then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's visit to India in 2000 and Prime Minister Vajpayee's visit to Japan the following year. It was the first visit to India by a Japanese foreign minister in six years, the last visit having been made in 1997 by then Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda.
  2. In a bilateral context, the two countries agreed to increase and strengthen dialogue and exchange in the area of security and defense and economic exchange at the private-sector level. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi notified the Indian side of Japan's decision to pledge fresh concessional loans to India amounting to about 900 million US dollars. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi toured the Delhi Metro, which is being constructed with yen loans, and which India valued highly as an outstanding example of cooperation between Japan and India.
  3. On international issues, the two sides engaged in a frank exchange of views on such matters as terrorism, India-Pakistan relations, North Korea (reports of alleged technical assistance by Pakistan for North Korea's nuclear development program), and the peace process in Sri Lanka.
  4. At the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi delivered a policy speech before an audience of Indian business leaders, intellectual leaders, journalists, and others, in which she presented Japan's desire to further strengthen Japan-India partnership with strategic perspectives.

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