Speech by Mr. Yasutoshi NISHIMURA,
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs,
At the Reception of the Japan-OSCE Conference

(photo) Parliamentary Vice-Minister NISHIMURA

June 10, 2009

Secretary General,
Distinguished guests,

First of all, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all of you at this reception. It is a great pleasure for my government to host the OSCE-Asian Partner Conference here in Tokyo. And I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the delegates who have traveled all the way to Tokyo to attend the OSCE-Japan Conference.

In our global world, Europe and Asia are facing common security challenges, such as piracy, issues related to North Korea, and international peace building. Clearly, effective cooperation among nations and organizations is indispensable to tackle them. In this regard, Japan is fully aware of the importance of the partnership between Japan and the OSCE.

First, I just came back from my business trip to Seoul, Korea. In Seoul, I attended "Seoul High-Level Meeting on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia", which was co-hosted by the Governments of Korea and Japan. The Gulf of Aden and sea off the coast of Somalia is a major navigating route between Asia and Europe. Therefore, Europe and Japan need to work together to tackle the piracy issue there. I would like to express my gratitude to the participation of many European countries to the Meeting in Seoul. In the Meeting, I proposed to enhance information sharing between fishing boats operating in the Indian Ocean and naval vessels. My propose was welcomed by the participating countries including European countries.

Second, as all of you are aware, one of the major security challenges that we are facing is North Korea. In New York, discussions on a new UN Security Council Resolution are in a final stage. Today, I had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korea in Seoul. We agreed that the international community must send a clear message that flagrant and frequent violations of UN Security Council Resolutions by North Korea will not be rewarded and tolerated. The international community must act in unity to resolve outstanding issues concerning North Korea, namely nuclear and missile issues as well as human rights concerns including the abduction issue.

Third, with regard to the international peace building, I highly evaluate the contribution that the OSCE made in Central Asia, Caucasia, and Eastern Europe. In this May, I visited Serbia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia and saw the activities of the OSCE with my own eyes. The Government of Japan intends to strengthen our contribution to international peace building. In this regard, we are considering the increase of relevant budget and the strengthening of training for who want to be involved in international peace building activities.

I understand that you had a very fruitful discussion today and I sincerely hope that a renewed sense of partnership will emerge out of this conference, which will lead towards a more secure world.

With this hope, I would like to propose a toast for the success of the Conference, and good health to all of you.

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