Visit of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the Federal Republic of Germany
(Summit Meeting: Summary)
On August 17, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi arrived in the Federal Republic of Germany, the first country of his visit to the three European countries and held talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of the Federal Republic of Germany on August 18. The following is a summary of the meeting.
1. International Situation
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi, bearing in mind the upcoming six party talks, noted the importance of bringing North Korea to the table as a responsible member of the international community, and reaffirmed that Japan will peacefully and diplomatically strive for a comprehensive solution on the nuclear, missile, abduction and other issues. He also expressed his willingness to continue holding close discussions with Germany over the issues.
(2) Chancellor Schroeder in response stated that he agreed to and supported all remarks made by Prime Minister Koizumi. He further stated that Japan's approach to incorporate North Korea into the international community was appropriate and to be highly evaluated.
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that, although various issues had arisen in the period leading up to the use of force, at the present moment, the reconstruction of and humanitarian cooperation for Iraq was important. He also stated that, while Japan and Germany had different domestic circumstances, it was important for the two countries to cooperate amidst such conditions, and that with the premise of not participating in any combatant activities, Japan is seeking to cooperate with Germany as much as possible.
(2) Chancellor Schroeder noted that the United Nations Security Council resolution (1500) regarding reconstruction which was adopted recently, has been significantly improved to facilitate the international community to cooperate for the reconstruction of Iraq, but that there still were areas for improvement. He further noted that Germany had already provided humanitarian assistance for Iraq and plans to continue with this assistance, and that Germany had great interest in the progress of ensuring the security, stability and democratization of Iraq and there were many areas in which Japan and Germany could cooperate.
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi highly evaluated the cooperation Germany has provided in Afghanistan and noted that Japan would like to cooperate to the greatest extent possible within the scope of not taking part in any combatant activities and that from such a perspective there were many areas in which Japan and Germany could cooperate.
(2) Chancellor Schroeder in response stated that, with the background of hosting the Bonn Conference in Germany which established the basis for the Afghan Interim Authority, since then, Germany has provided not only material assistance but also dispatched military personnel for the stabilization of Afghanistan. Stability is important, not only in Kabul, but in the whole nation and there was tremendous scope for cooperation between Japan and Germany in the building and consolidation of peace in Afghanistan.
(EU Enlargement, Japan-EU Cooperation)
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi noted that, with the European Union (EU) poised to take in ten new members next year, Japan would like to expand its economic exchange with Germany. In particular, with Germany being at the core of the EU, it is important to strengthen cooperation with Germany to develop the Japan-EU relations. With regard to the economic effect due to the enlargement of the EU, there are many points that must be coordinated between Japan and the EU, which Japan would like to discuss on the working level.
(2) Chancellor Schroeder agreed with the statements of Prime Minister Koizumi.
2. Bilateral Relations
(Cultural and Academic Exchange Focusing on the Younger Generation)
(1) Prime Minister Koizumi noted that, as the generation which has formed the basis for mutual understanding was giving its position to younger generation, it is necessary to promote and develop mutual understanding and sense of intimacy with the younger generation. Japan would like to provide its full support for the "Germany Year in Japan" to be held in 2005-06, for which His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince will serve as Honorary Patron. (Note: It is the first time for His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince to serve as an Honorary Patron for events held in Japan which introduces foreign countries.) In response Chancellor Schroeder expressed his gratitude.
(2) Prime Minister Koizumi pointed out the importance of enhancing academic exchanges between Japan and Germany focusing on the younger generation and explained the measures that are being taken mainly by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
In response, Chancellor Schroeder noted that strengthening these academic exchanges was important and Germany would like to support and make efforts in this regard.
(1) The two leaders exchanged opinions on issues common to both countries such as the aging society, the decrease in the younger population, and how reforms which will cause greater burden on the people are necessary, but gaining the understanding of the people was very difficult and also a great political challenge. Prime Minister Koizumi noted that there was much to learn from Germany which has already implemented these reforms.
(2) The two leaders stated that although both countries face deflationary pressure, slight signs of recovery can be seen. In this context, Prime Minister Koizumi noted that while there are further difficulties to be encountered, there are bright signs, and that he intended to make further efforts in reforms.
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