Visit to Nepal by Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba (Overview)
April 29, 2012
Courtesy call on President Yadav
Courtesy call on Prime Minister Bhattarai
On Sunday, April 29, Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs, visited Nepal and held a meeting with the Hon. Mr. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, followed by the ceremonies for signing the Exchange of Notes (E/N) on the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers as well as for handing over IT equipment (servers) for election administration. Foreign Minister Gemba also paid courtesy calls on President Ram Baran Yadav as well as Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and held a meeting with the leaders of the major political parties. Foreign Minister then attended a luncheon hosted by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shrestha. The overview of the meetings is as follows.
1. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
- (1) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shrestha welcomed and thanked Foreign Minister Gemba for his visit to Nepal, and reiterated his sympathy for the damages caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake as well as expressed hope for an early reconstruction. Foreign Minister Gemba stated that he was pleased to be able to visit Nepal for the first time in thirty-five years as Foreign Minister of Japan by the invitation from Foreign Minister Shrestha during his visit to Japan in January. Minister Gemba also reiterated his appreciation for warm support and encouragement from Nepal in the wake of the Earthquake, and stated that Japan was on a steady path to recovery and reconstruction.
- (2) Deputy Prime Minister Shrestha explained the current status of the peace process. Minister Gemba highly appreciated the serious efforts by the Nepali Government for the peace process and stressed his strong hope for the completion of the constitution drafting process by the deadline of May 27, stating his view that Japan has a role play as a longtime friend of Nepal, located in a geopolitically important area between India and China, to support its efforts towards consolidation of democracy, with a view to bringing prosperity and stability to the Asia-Pacific region based on democracy.
- (3) Minister Shrestha made various requests for Japan’s economic cooperation including for infrastructure development. In response, Minister Gemba stated that, while some of the requests had already been under consideration, he would consider them, taking into account the progress in consolidation of democracy as well as what is best for the Nepali people. Minister Gemba also noted that grant aid had been provided to assist the construction of Sindhuli Road connecting Katmandu and Tarai Plain. Minister Gemba further stated that he would consider assistance to further consolidate democracy and stability in Nepal, referring to the ceremonies after the meeting of signing the Exchange of Notes (E/N) on the Food Security Project for Underprivileged Farmers in the amount of approximately 250 million yen as well as of handing over IT equipment (servers) for election administration.
- (4) Minister Gemba stated that he had appointed H.E. Mr. Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, as the Permanent Representative of Japan to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as of April 26, and expressed his intention to further strengthen the relations with the SAARC, in cooperation with Nepal, the incoming Chair Country, in such areas as improvement of regional connectivity. Both Ministers decided to continue their cooperation in the international arena including at the United Nations.
2. Courtesy call on Prime Minister Bhattarai
- (1) Prime Minister Bhattarai recalled his visit in 2009 to Japan as the Finance Minister, during which he had very fruitful experiences of learning at first-hand about Japan’s economic development as well as its contribution to the world, and stated that Japan’s economic development served as a model for Asian countries. Foreign Minister Gemba noted that the history of development around the world had shown that economic development would become possible only where peace and stability exist. Minister Gemba expressed Japan’s hope as an old friend of Nepal that the constitution drafting process would be completed by the deadline, and stated that Japan would extend possible support to the efforts by the Government of Nepal in such fields as agriculture, education, food and infrastructure.
- (2) Prime Minister Bhattarai stated that Japan’s Meiji Restoration and the reconstruction in the post-World War II era offered many valuable suggestions for Nepal today. Foreign Minister Gemba responded that what was in common in the two periods was that the ordinary people were well-educated, and stated that he would therefore consider the best mix of assistance which includes intellectual support, technical cooperation, loans and grants, from the viewpoint of the Nepali people.
- (3) Prime Minister Bhattarai expressed his hope that Japan plays an even more active and constructive role in the international community for peace and democracy, and stated that Nepal would consistently support the efforts of Japan in this regard.
3. Courtesy call on President Yadav
- (1) President Yadav stated that Japan and Nepal had shared a friendly and cordial relationship based on the spirit of trust, mutual understanding and cooperation, referring to exchanges between the former Royal Family of Nepal and the Imperial Family of Japan. President Yadav further stated that Nepal would closely cooperate with Japan in the international arena as the two countries share the common values of peace and harmony, noting Japan’s assistance to Nepal in various forms both bilaterally and through international organizations. President Yadav also appealed for assistance from the international community including Japan as the constitution was due to be formulated within a month.
- (2) Foreign Minister Gemba stated that he had chosen to visit Nepal for the first time in the past 35 years as Foreign Minister of Japan because of the importance he attached to the country. Minister Gemba believed that Nepal was on the right track toward peace and stability, and that Japan should provide firm support as an old friend of Nepal for its promotion and consolidation of democracy. In this connection, Minister Gemba stated that Japan would provide assistance in such fields as agriculture, education, food, and infrastructure, from the viewpoint of the Nepali people. Minister Gemba further expressed his intention to provide assistance utilizing Japan’s technologies, in line with his belief to bring prosperity and stability to the Asia-Pacific region based on democracy.
4. Meeting with the leaders of major political parties
Foreign Minister Gemba held a meeting with Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Mr. Sushil Koirala, President of Nepali Congress Party, Jhala Nath Khanal, Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and Bijay Kumar Gacchedar, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister (leader of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum party).
- (1) Foreign Minister Gemba expressed his hope that all the major party leaders would cooperate in the spirit of mutual concession to consolidate democracy in Nepal, with which Japan feels strong affinity. He stated that, once the constitution is formulated, Japan would provide assistance from the viewpoint of the Nepali people to develop a society where they feel and enjoy prosperity.
- (2) Each party leader expressed gratitude for the remarks of Minister Gemba. The leaders stated that discussions had been under way among the parties toward the formulation of the constitution by the deadline, and expressed positive outlook in this regard.
5. Luncheon hosted by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shrestha
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shrestha hosted a luncheon for Foreign Minister Gemba, attended by Hon. Barsha Man Pun, Finance Minister, Mr. Radhesh Pant, CEO of the Nepal Investment Board, among others. Foreign Minister Gemba had an exchange of views with the participants in a friendly atmosphere on such topics as the peace process, constitution drafting, economic development, and environmental issues.
Back to Index