Joint Press Statement by Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan and Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister of East Timor Public Administration

April 29, 2002

On April 29, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, during his visit to East Timor, held meetings with SRSG Sergio Vieira De Mello, President-elect Xanana Gusmao and Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri. They had fruitful exchanges of views on the future relationship between Japan and East Timor.

At the meeting with Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi extended his sincere congratulations on East Timor's becoming a new member of the international community as the first independent state of this century.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri highly appreciated the role played by the United Nations during East Timor's transition to independence and in particular its assistance to East Timor's nation-building. Japan has dispatched its Self Defense Forces Engineer Group to UNTAET, with a view to assisting the latter's work. Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri welcomed Japan's participation in UNTAET.

Japan, recognizing that the stability of East Timor is important for that of the Asia Pacific region, held the first Donors' Meeting on East Timor in Tokyo in December 1999. Since then Japan has been actively implementing the US$130 million worth of rehabilitation and development, and humanitarian assistance which it had pledged in the meeting. In addition, Japan has supported a number of projects for repatriation of refugees and national reconciliation in East Timor for the comprehensive solution of the refugees' issue. Furthermore, Japan continues to make as much assistance as possible for the success of the Independence Day Celebrations on May 20. Based on Japan's contributions to East Timor noted above, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed that Japan would continue to actively support East Timor's national reconciliation and nation-building for achieving sustainability. Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri expressed his appreciation for Japan's cordiality reflected in its active support for East Timor's national reconciliation and nation-building.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri expressed their common determination to cooperate to establish a favourable and close future-oriented relationship between Japan and East Timor after its independence.

Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri stated that after achieving its independence, East Timor, as a member of the international community, is willing to build good relations with neighboring countries. In response, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed Japan's willingness to make its utmost efforts to create such an environment in the region.


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