Meeting between Foreign Minister Gemba and H.E. Dato' Sri Anifah bin Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia (Overview)
On Tuesday, April 24, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with H.E. Dato' Sri Anifah bin Aman, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, who was on a working visit to Japan, for approximately 30 minutes from 6:30 p.m. and subsequently hosted dinner for approximately 90 minutes. An overview of the meeting is as follows:
Minister Gemba welcomed Foreign Minister Anifah's visit to Japan and also expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome he received when Minister Gemba had visited Malaysia last October. Minister Anifah sincerely appreciated the warm hospitality and stated that Minister Gemba’s visit to Malaysia last year and the visit to Japan by Minister Anifah this time express the determination of both countries to strengthen bilateral relations and that he would like to further promote the existing friendly relationship.
2. Bilateral Relations
(1) 30th anniversary of the Look East Policy
ii) In response, Minister Anifah stated that the Look East Policy was beneficial for both countries in every level of governmental, business, and human exchanges and expressed his desire to upgrade the policy to the next phase. Moreover, concerning the MJIIT, Minister Anifah stated that he would like to develop it into a centre of excellence of Japanese-style engineering education so that the institute can contribute to development of human resources for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stated in his message.
(2) Great East Japan Earthquake
(3) Economic Relations
ii) In response, Minister Anifah welcomed coordination between Malaysian enterprises and Japanese enterprises in fields such as infrastructure and water-related business, stating that Japan had always been an important trade partner and an investing country. Minister Anifah also stated that he expected Japanese enterprises to further invest in Malaysia on the occasions of relaxation of restrictions and liberalization in Malaysia.
3. Regional/International Situations
Both foreign ministers exchanged opinions on issues that the regional/international societies are facing, such as the issues of North Korea, Myanmar, maritime security and others, and shared views on further strengthening Japan-ASEAN relations.
(1) Concerning North Korea, both foreign ministers shared views that the recent launching of the missile, which North Korea claims to be a "satellite", was a threat to the peace and stability of the region and the international community and that it is important to show a firm stance of the international community including ASEAN in a unified manner.
(2) Concerning Myanmar, both foreign ministers shared views on the necessity for the international community to support further democratization, national reconciliation, and economic reforms in Myanmar. Moreover, Minister Gemba introduced the results of the first visit to Japan by the President of Myanmar in 28 years and stated that it is important to support democratization and national reconciliation so that such moves would not regress. In response, Minister Anifah, mentioning the results of the summit meeting between Dato' Sri Mohod Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and the President of Myanmar held in March, stated that ASEAN would like to play a certain role and also stated that aid from Japan is crucial for democratization of Myanmar.
(3) Concerning Japan-ASEAN cooperation, Minister Gemba stated that he would like to proactively support the integration of ASEAN in 2015 and promote cooperation concerning connectivity, disaster prevention, and youth exchanges. In response, Minister Anifah expressed his gratitude and stated that he would like to continue close cooperation with Japan, a major cooperating country for ASEAN.
(4) In addition, concerning maritime security, both foreign ministers recognized that Malaysia is an important sea lane coastal nation which had made tangible achievements in the fight against piracies in the Straits of Malacca and in Somalia. Both foreign ministers also shared views on further strengthening cooperation between the two countrieson this matter.
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