Visit to Japan by Minister for Foreign Affairs Luvsangiin Erdenechuluun of Mongolia
(Outline and Evaluation)
1. Schedule Outline
(1) Minister for Foreign Affairs Luvsangiin Erdenechuluun of Mongolia paid a visit to Japan with Mrs. Luvsangiin Erdenechuluun from 22 to 27 July 2002, as an official guest of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(2) During his stay, Minister Erdenechuluun held a meeting and working dinner with Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi. On these occasions, the Ministers engaged in a lively and frank exchange of views on bilateral relations and the international situation, and signed and exchanged notes concerning cultural grant aid for the supplying of television programs to the Mongolian National Television. In addition, Foreign Minister Erdenechuluun paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as well as the Speakers of both Houses of Representatives and Councilors, and engaged in an exchange of views with Diet members concerned.
(3) In addition, Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino accompanied Foreign Minister Erdenechuluun on a visit to the exhibition "Modern Paintings of Mongolia," which is being held to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mongolia, demonstrating to the people of both countries that Japan and Mongolia are strengthening their friendly relations.
(4) Moreover, Foreign Minister Erdenechuluun exchanged views with experts at the Japan Institute of International Affairs and held interviews with media organizations, and through these and other activities explained the domestic and foreign policies of Mongolia.
2. Overall Evaluation
(1) The main objectives of inviting Foreign Minister Erdenechuluun to Japan at this time were to: (a) expand and deepen Japan's cooperative relationship with Mongolia as an important and friendly partner through high-level exchanges on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mongolia; and (b) strengthen communication at the political level in order to establish the "comprehensive partnership" that was reconfirmed with then-Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori on the occasion of the visit by Prime Minister Nambaryn Enkhbayar of Mongolia to Japan in February 2001.
(2) Foreign Minister Erdenechuluun consistently stated through his call on Prime Minister Koizumi, his talks with Foreign Minister Kawaguchi and in interviews with media organizations that: (a) in addition to his gratitude for Japan's assistance to Mongolia's efforts toward democratization and a market economy, continued assistance would be necessary; and (b) currently while Japan-Mongolia relations are one-directional, with Japan providing assistance to Mongolia, efforts would be made by Mongolia to make the relationship mutually beneficial for the sake of the establishment of the "comprehensive partnership."
(3) The Japanese side clearly expressed in the ministerial talks that Japan would support efforts by Mongolia toward democratization and a market economy. This commitment by Japan is fundamental for the Japan-Mongolia relationship and was highly appreciated by the Mongolian side. In this context, the signing and exchange of the notes concerning the extension of cultural grant aid for the supplying of television programs to the Mongolian National Television, in that it contributes to human resources development, is significant on a symbolic as well as practical level.
(4) During Foreign Minister Erdenechuluun's visit, it was also the case that Mongolian-born sumo wrestler Asashoryu was promoted to the rank of Ozeki, the second-highest rank in sumo, and the Japanese public's interest in Mongolia has been further heightened. Given this backdrop, Foreign Minister Erdnechuluun's visit received a good deal of coverage in the Japanese media. This is something that is very significant for raising the interest of the Japanese public in bilateral relations.
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