Japan-EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting (overview)

May 21, 2012

On Monday, May 21, commencing at around 9:05 a.m. local time (about 11:05 p.m. the same day, Japan time) for a short period, Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba, who is visiting Chicago to attend the NATO Chicago Summit meetings, held a meeting with Baroness Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, focusing on the regional situations in Iran and Afghanistan. An overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Iran

Foreign Minister Gemba said he hoped substantial progress would be made at the talks between the EU 3+3 and Iran, which would be held on May 23. He also asked for consideration to be given to extend the exemption to prohibition of insurance and re-insurance by the EU measures, concerning the transport of Iranian crude oil. In response, High Representative Ashton said that Japan's lobbying activities are effective and that she is well aware of the circumstances. She also mentioned that the matter will be discussed in the near future.

2. Afghanistan

Foreign Minister Gemba expressed his expectation regarding attendance at the Tokyo Conference in July and financial contribution by the EU. High Representative Ashton responded that the EU is politically determined and a specific amount of EU contribution is under consideration.

(*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)

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