Telephone Talks between the Foreign Ministers of Japan and the United Kingdom

January 21, 2009

For about 12 minutes from around 6:45 p.m. on January 21, 2009 (JST), Minister for Foreign Affairs Hirofumi Nakasone and UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband held a telephone conversation. The summary of the conversation is as follows:

  1. Minister Nakasone stated that he was pleased that last year, the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the UK had seen the development of bilateral relations through commemorative events in both countries and mutual visits by important persons, including the visit to Japan by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall. He also expressed his hope that having become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council at the beginning of this year, Japan would be able to work closely with the UK at the Security Council. In response, Secretary Miliband stated that the series of commemorative events were very successful and that the UK welcomed Japan's membership of the Security Council and hoped to work closely with Japan.
  2. On the situation in the Middle East, Minister Nakasone expressed his hope that a permanent ceasefire would be realized as soon as possible, and in connection with the reconstruction of Gaza, he stated that it was important to provide assistance through the Palestinian Authority (PA) and also to prevent a division between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In this regard, Minister Nakasone stated that Japan would cooperate with the UK and other countries, supporting the resumption of the peace process in the region. In response, Secretary Miliband thanked Minister Nakasone for Japan's contributions to the Middle East peace process. He said the situation in Gaza was a real tragedy and that political support, as well as humanitarian assistance, was needed in order to achieve the two-state solution. Mr. Nakasone responded that Japan had already decided to offer emergency humanitarian assistance equivalent to 10 million US dollars and also planned to send soon relief supplies that Japan has stockpiled.
  3. On India-Pakistan relations following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, Minister Nakasone stated that it was necessary to continue to watch the situation and work with both India and Pakistan as necessary in a timely and appropriate manner. Secretary Miliband mentioned his visit to India and Pakistan a week ago and stressed that those who were responsible for the terrorist attacks must be brought to justice. He also emphasized that it was important to provide economic and political assistance to Pakistan to ensure stability in the region.
  4. Finally, both sides welcomed this opportunity to exchange views and agreed that they would continue to work together to address global issues.

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