Special Announcement by the Press Secretary (April 4)
4 April 2003
Concerning the situation in Iraq, Ms. Yoriko KAWAGUCHI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, had a telephone conversation with Mr. Colin Powell, Secretary of State of the United States of America, in the evening of 4 April (Tokyo time). Minister Kawaguchi conveyed Japan's view on the current situation and future reconstruction of Iraq.
Minister Kawaguchi conveyed the following points.
On the current situation in Iraq, Minister Kawaguchi said she saw the leading role the US has been playing in eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as highly valuable, and that she expected an early conclusion of the war by achieving the objectives as soon as possible with minimum civilian and military casualties. To this Secretary Powell responded that he shared exactly the same view.
On the rehabilitation and reconstruction process in Iraq, Minister Kawaguchi said that the United Nations should play an important role, and she valued highly Secretary Powell's recent remarks delivered at a press conference in Brussels, in which he outlined the need for the whole international community to participate in Iraq's reconstruction and the importance of the role to be played by the UN.
Minister Kawaguchi also touched upon her scheduled visit to Europe, saying that she wished to visit the United Kingdom, Germany and France upon approval from the Diet and that coordination for her visit to these countries was currently being made. On the Iraq issue, Minister Kawaguchi mentioned that upon visiting Europe, she intended to explain to these countries Japan's views on humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, point out the importance of reestablishing a concerted effort of the international community, and exchange views with respective countries.
Secretary Powell, responding that he himself had only just returned from Europe, said that during his meeting in Brussels he concurred with NATO and EU members and agreed on the need for the whole international community to work to reconstruct and rebuild Iraq. Secretary Powell also mentioned that he discussed the role of the UN and various countries' possible contribution in the post-hostilities period, and that there would be continued consultation on these matters.
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