Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Telephone Talks with British Secretary Straw

November 4, 2003

Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi held telephone talks with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on November 4. The following is a summary of the talks.

1. Iraq

Foreign Secretary Straw applauded Japan's constructive role on the reconstruction of Iraq, including Japan's pledge at the International Donor's Conference in Madrid. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi expressed Japan's high appreciation of Britain's commitment, and called for further assistance from the European Union as a whole.

Both Foreign Ministers shared the view that Iraq must not be allowed to become a failed state and that the stability of Iraq is in the interest of the international community as a whole.

2. Iran

Minister Kawaguchi congratulated the efforts of Secretary Straw on his visit to Iran with French and German foreign ministers. She welcomed the decision of Iran as positive development and expressed Japan's strong hope that Iran would implement in good faith all the measures called for in the resolution of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in September. Minister Kawaguchi also explained about the visit to Iran by Deputy Minister Tanaka on November 1 and 2.

Secretary Straw expressed his gratitude and stated that implementation by Iran was important and that he wanted to maintain close contact with Japan in view of the November meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors.

3. Middle East Peace Process

Minister Kawaguchi expressed her hope that the Road Map would again get on track. She explained Japan's efforts including her recent visits to Egypt and Tunisia. Secretary Straw appreciated Japan's efforts and stated that it was important for both the Israeli and Palestinian sides to be constructive.

4. Myanmar

Secretary Straw expressed his appreciation to Japan's recent policies toward Myanmar. Minister Kawaguchi explained Japan's position to encourage progress in Myanmar through continuous dialogue.

5. North Korea

Minister Kawaguchi said that certain positive signs had been seen on the North Korean side with regard to the six-party talks and explained Japan's position regarding the nuclear problem and the abduction cases. She also expressed her appreciation for the understanding and support consistently shown by the UK.

Secretary Straw reiterated Britain's support for Japan's position on these issues.

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