Telephone Conversation between Prime Minister Taro Aso and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown

May 28, 2009

For about 20 minutes from 9:50 p.m. (JST) on May 28, Prime Minister Taro Aso talked with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the UK on the phone at the request of the latter. The summary of the conversation is as follows:

1. The Nuclear Test by North Korea

Prime Minister Aso stated it is essential that the United Nations Security Council promptly adopt a resolution that includes additional sanctions and thus signal the will of the international community regarding this issue. Noting that there is no objection among the members of the Security Council as regards to seeking a resolution, Prime Minister Aso said that Japan would like to work closely with the UK so that a concrete resolution would be adopted. Prime Minister Brown responded by saying that the UK also condemns the nuclear test as it was a provocative action. He stated that the UK supports Japan's strong stance and that the Security Council should adopt a firm resolution. Praising Japan's leadership towards the adoption, Prime Minister Brown also stated the UK will seek a resolution as called for by Japan.

2. Climate Change

Prime Minister Brown stated that the EU has set a mid-term target of reducing emissions by 20-30 percent of 1990 levels by 2020. He said he understands that Japan is also working to establish mid-term targets and expressed hope that the UK will cooperate with Japan so that an agreement will be reached in Copenhagen. In response, Prime Minister Aso stated that Japan's basic policy is that a mid-term target should be designed to contribute to combating global warming around the world, and, in particular, encourage the participation of major emitters including the United States, China, and India, ensure economic feasibility instead of being a mere declaration, and lead to long-term targets. He said that the Japanese Government has presented, for national debate, a few options for the combination of the reduction amount and the extent of burden on the people. Prime Minister Aso added that Japan hopes to collaborate closely with the UK towards a successful agreement in Copenhagen. The two leaders agreed to discuss this issue also at the G8 Summit in July.

3. Myanmar

Prime Minister Brown expressed concern about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who had recently been indicted. He stressed the need for firm action by the United Nations Security Council and expressed hope that the UN Secretary General will visit Myanmar. Prime Minister Aso responded by saying that on May 25, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone met with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win, telling him that Japan is closely observing the indictment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi with deep concern, that Myanmar should act in an appropriate way at this important moment, and that Foreign Minister Nakasone expressed his expectation that democratization in Myanmar proceeds in such a way that it is given high regard by the international community. Prime Minister Aso emphasized the need for united action by the international community and expressed hope that Japan will keep in close contact with the UK.


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