Japan-Pakistan Foreign Ministerial Meeting (Overview)
September 20, 2011
On Tuesday, September 20, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Koichiro Gemba, who was visiting New York to attend the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held a meeting with H.E. Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for approximately 40 minutes from 2:00 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time: September 21, 3:00 a.m., Japan time). The overview of the meeting is as follows:
Foreign Minister Gemba reiterated Japan’s appreciation for sympathy, encouragement and relief goods Japan received from Pakistan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. He expressed his condolences to the victims of the recent flooding disaster that has struck the southern part of Pakistan and informed Foreign Minister Khar that in addition to the provision of emergency relief goods worth approximately 450,000 USD that was decided on September 9, Japan newly decided on September 20 to provide emergency grant aid of 10 million USD.
Foreign Minister Khar congratulated Foreign Minister Gemba, who has also been Secretary General of the Japan-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship League, on his appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs. She expressed gratitude for the various forms of assistance that Japan has extended to Pakistan, including the hosting of the Pakistan Donors Conference in Tokyo in 2009. Foreign Minister Khar conveyed her sympathy over the earthquake and tsunami, and stated that the extent of support provided by the Government of Pakistan as well as its people –particularly Pakistani residents in Japan – reflects the significance of Japan’s assistance to Pakistan up and the sense of gratitude felt by Pakistani people.
Foreign Minister Gemba expressed his respect for Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism in the country. He stated that he had been shocked by the news of the assassination of former Afghanistan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, as Japan has provided various support to Afghanistan which helped not only nation-building but also its reconciliation process. Foreign Minister Gemba noted that it would be necessary to analyze the incident thoroughly and link it to progress. Foreign Minister Khar agreed and expressed her view that peace and stability of Pakistan would affect that of Afghanistan and vice versa.
Foreign Minister Gemba stated that Japan had decided to extend a yen loan in the health sector aimed at eradicating polio, adding that the Diet Task Force on Global Polio Eradicationwas visiting Pakistan during its Polio immunization campaign. With regard to Pakistan’s investment environment, Foreign Minister Gemba expressed his expectation that Pakistan would take steps to promote the entry of Japanese companies, including enhancing safety measures for Japanese nationals, improving security environment, and simplifying its administrative procedures. He also stressed the importance of strengthening nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an early commencement of negotiation for the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT), and the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and asked for cooperation from Pakistan.
Foreign Minister Gemba stated that he would like to develop Japan-Pakistan relationship into a comprehensive partnership by steadily following up the outcome of a visit to Japan by President Asif Ali Zardari in February this year. In particular, he noted that, as next year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, it would provide a good opportunity for people of both countries to recognize the importance of the bilateral relationship across a broad range of sectors. Foreign Minister Gemba stated that, although he might not be able to continue the position of Secretary General of the Parliamentary Friendship League due to his appointment as Foreign Minister, he would still like to contribute to the success of the 60th anniversary. Foreign Minister Khar responded that she was also very eager to make the 60th anniversary a great success, and that she would very much like to welcome Foreign Minister Gemba in Islamabad.
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