Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Telephone Talks with Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov

November 4, 2003

The following is an overview of telephone talks that Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi held with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on November 4. This telephone conversation took place on the initiative of Japan.

1. Japan-Russia Relations

(1) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that (a) Japan placed importance on the Chairman of the Russian Government Mikhail Kasyanov's visit to Japan which generalizes the cooperative effort based on the "Japan-Russia Action Plan" and thus serves as good occasion to aim for the establishment of the Trade and Investment Promotion Organization (b) with regard to the Pacific pipeline, Japan wants to accelerate expert consultations on Japan-Russia cooperation, including oil field development in East Siberia.

(2) In response, Foreign Minister Ivanov agreed on the importance of the visit to Japan by the Chairman Kasyanov and also stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin was satisfied by the meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at Bangkok. In particular, he said, their agreement on the establishment of the Japan-Russia Wise Men's Council was important. In addition, it was agreed that the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Issues would be held in the first half of next year.

(3) Furthermore, Foreign Minister Ivanov invited Foreign Minister Kawaguchi to visit Russia. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi emphasized that her trip to Russia would be a good opportunity to carefully discuss the issue of the conclusion of a peace treaty. It was agreed that the specific timing of the visit should be coordinated through diplomatic channels.

2. Assistance for Iraqi reconstraction

(1) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated as follows:
   -I strongly condemn the recent series of terrorist attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere. It is important for the international community as a whole to respond in unity in both ensuring public order and assisting reconstruction of Iraq. I highly value Russia's active role such as supporting United Nations Security council Resolution 1511 and announce $4 billion of investment at the Madrid conference for Reconstruction of Iraq. It would be a serious problem for the entire international community if Iraq were to become a failed State. From this perspective, I hope that Russia will soon announce further positive assistance for the reconstruction of Iraq.

(2) In response, Foreign Minister Ivanov expressed his understanding that the international community should deal with the issue of Iraq based on a shared standpoint.

3. North Korea

Both sides recognized that North Korea has been showing a certain positive attitude to the statement of US President George W. Bush on North Korea's security concerns. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi indicated that it was necessary for North Korea not to miss this particular occasion to show further positive attitude for problem-solving, including the early holding of the next round of six-party talks. In response, Foreign Minister Ivanov stated that the six-party talks process should be continued and that Russia wanted to maintain contact with Japan on this issue.

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