Visit to Japan by Minister of Foreign Affairs Celso Lafer of the Federative Republic of Brazil
(Overview and Evaluation)
Foreign Minister of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Celso Lafer, paid an official visit to Japan as a guest of Ministry of Foreign Affairs between May 22 and 27.
During his stay in Japan, in addition to an audience with Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and a courtesy call paid on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Foreign Minister Lafer held a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Yoriko Kawaguchi and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tsutomu Takebe and attended luncheons hosted by the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (then Keidanren) (Chairman of the Japan-Brazil Economic Cooperation Committee Minoru Murofushi,) and Japan-Brazil Parliamentary Friendship League (Chairman: member of the House of Representatives Hiroshi Mitsuzuka). Foreign Minister Lafer also exchanged views with representatives of the Brazilian community and ambassadors of Latin American countries to Japan.
In the meeting, in addition to bilateral relations, both Foreign Ministers discussed a wide range of issues, such as global issues including the global environment, and terrorism and well as the international situation, such as peace in the Middle East and Asian affairs. In particular, as regards bilateral relations, the Foreign Ministers shared the common view to examine the possibility of regularizing high-level policy dialogue and participation of high-level government officials in the Joint Meeting of the Japan-Brazil Economic Cooperation Committee, and assistance in East Timor under the framework of Japan-Brazil Partnership Program (JBPP) in the future. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi also indicated that Japan intends to provide a yen loan to Brazil.
After the meeting a "Joint Press Announcement of the Foreign Ministers of Japan and Brazil," was distributed, which summarized the content of the meeting.
(1) Courtesy Call Paid on VIPS
During his stay in Japan, Foreign Minister Lafer was received in an audience with Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Koizumi. At the courtesy call on Prime Minister Koizumi, the importance of relations between Japan and Brazil, which have traditionally been friendly, was reaffirmed, and both Prime Minister Koizumi and Foreign Minister Lafer stated that these favorable relations should be maintained and enhanced in various areas in the future.
(2) Meeting with Government Officials
Foreign Minister Lafer held a meeting with Foreign Minister Kawaguchi and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Takebe. In the Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed a wide range of issues on bilateral relations, international cooperation and the international situation. The concrete results of the Foreign Ministers' Meeting are as follows:
Regularizing and Improving of Policy Dialogue
In order to strengthen and extend the bilateral policy dialogue, both countries will meet once a year on a regular basis for high-level (Deputy Minister level) policy consultations.
Participation of Government Officials in the Joint Meeting of the Japan-Brazil Economic Cooperation Committee
In order to follow up the Joint Meeting of the Japan-Brazil Economic Cooperation Committee, conducted by then Keidanren and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) of Brazil, high-level government officials will be attending the Joint Committee.
Assistance in East Timor
Both Foreign Ministers agreed to make efforts towards the implementation and promotion of third-country cooperation, based on the JBPP, which was signed in March 2000. In this context, both countries manifested their intention to work actively for reconstruction and development assistance in East Timor with the international community and to discuss positively on the dispatch of a Japan-Brazil joint mission, after reviewing the content of possible cooperation in East Timor, under the framework of the JBPP.
Announcement of the Provision of Yen Loan
With regard to Japan's yen loan project, "Sanitation Improvement Project for Baixada Santista Metropolitian Region (SABESP)," which has been requested by the Government of Brazil, Japan expressed its intention to extend a yen loan up to 21.637 billion yen.
(1) Confirmation of Traditional Friendly Relations and Future Cooperation
In the Foreign Ministers' Meeting, both Foreign Ministers agreed to discuss the regularizing of policy dialogue at the Deputy Minister level, the participation of high-level government officials in the Joint Meeting of the Japan-Brazil Economic Cooperation Committee, and assistance to East Timor under the framework of the JBPP. In addition, both Foreign Ministers were able to strengthen traditional friendly relations through the pledge to provide a yen loan and the continuation from 2001 of invitations to young businessmen to come to Japan for the purpose of enhancing economic exchange.
(2) Implementation of High-Level Human Exchange
As for the exchange between Japan and Brazil at the Foreign Minister level, the visit by Foreign Minister Lafer was the first visit in four years to be realized since then-Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi visited Brazil and then-Foreign Minister Luiz Felipe Lampreia visited Japan in 1998. The visit of Foreign Minister Lafer to Japan has provided momentum for human exchanges between the two countries and has developed the personal relationship between Foreign Minister Kawaguchi and Foreign Minister Lafer, who is an influential member of the Cardoso Administration in Brazil.
(3) Strengthening of Cooperative Relations as Global Partners
Brazil is not only a leader of South and Central America but is also steadily gaining influence in the international community and other than the bilateral themes, Japan was able to exchange views concerning multilateral areas such as the global environment, as well as the international situation, including the Middle East and Asia and was able to strengthen cooperative relations as global partners.
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