Joint Press Release

Japanese-Palestinian High-Level Governmental Consultative Meeting
on Japan's Cooperation for Palestinian State-Building

July 25, 2010

As follow-up of the Japanese-Palestinian summit meeting held in Tokyo in February 2010 on the occasion of the visit of Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian President, the Japanese delegation headed by Ambassador Yutaka Iimura, Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for the Middle East, and the Palestinian delegation headed by Dr. Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, held a high-level governmental consultative meeting on 25 July 2010 in Ramallah to discuss Japan's cooperation on Palestinian state-building. The high-level governmental consultation will be held annually to provide policy guidance for such cooperation.

The Japanese and Palestinian governments reaffirm the critical importance of building state institutions for the Palestinian state. Japan disbursed US $150 million before April 2010 in accordance with its pledge at the Paris Conference in December 2007 (see attachment for the breakdown [PDF]). Japan will further contribute to the implementation of the 13th Government's Program and the Palestinian National Plan 2011-2013, utilizing such cooperation schemes as Japan's technical cooperation and grant aid. The seven priority areas for Japan's cooperation in the coming 3 years are: SME Support & Export Facilitation, Agriculture, Tourism, Local Governance, Finance, Water & Waste Water and Health. Both parties will keep conducting annual strategic consultations to promote further cooperation, flexibly responding to renewed priorities, and to increase the transparency and cost-effectiveness in the future bilateral cooperation.

1. Institution and capacity building

The Palestinian state aims to have an effective government operating under the rule of law that provides economic development, adequate infrastructure and public services for its people. Japan supports the capacity and institution building of the Palestinian National Authority by focusing on the afore-mentioned seven areas. Both parties adopted a matrix that indicates directions of future cooperation. The matrix will be reviewed annually through strategic consultations.

2. Initiative of Corridor for Peace and Prosperity

Japan and the Palestinian National Authority will work together on the regional initiative of "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity." Both parties affirmed that this initiative, once implemented, will contribute to the Palestinian state's economic sustainability and also demonstrate environmentally sustainable development by making use of green technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels and other means. Japan has recently started technical assistance in order to enhance the capabilities of the relevant Palestinian organizations for the purpose of establishing the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP). Both parties confirmed their commitments to continue to make their utmost efforts to start operation of JAIP by the end of 2012.

3. Private sectors relationship between the Japanese and Palestinian governments

The current visit of Mr. Yasuo Hayashi, Chairman of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to the Palestinian National Authority marks a follow-up of Dr. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President's visit to Japan in February. Mr. Hayashi exchanged views with Palestinian leaders and relevant organizations with regard to the relations between Japanese and Palestinian private sectors. In this relation, Mr. Iimura extended an invitation to Palestinian officials and businessmen at the meeting to participate in Japan-Arab Economic Forum to be held in Tunis in December this year.

4. Co-operation of East Asian Countries for the Middle East Peace

The Palestinian National Authority welcomed the Japanese initiative to work together with East Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, to contribute to peace in the Middle East. In the Japan-Indonesia summit meeting held in October 2009 and in the Japan-Malaysia summit meeting held in April 2010, the East Asian leaders expressed their willingness to promote their cooperation to contribute to the Palestinian state-building. Consultations will be held to explore ways and means to enhance such cooperation, including training courses in Asian countries conducted by JICA and possible development of private business relations among the Palestinian businesses and East Asian countries.

5. Assistance to Gaza Strip

The Japanese and Palestinian governments will coordinate to resume as early as possible the Japanese-funded projects which have been suspended in the Gaza Strip due to the siege and closure.

6. Assistance to community-based projects through NGOs

Japan, with consultation with the Palestinian National Authority, will continue to support from the human security perspective various community-based projects to be implemented by local authorities and local NGOs in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, which is in line with the program of the government of Prime Minister Fayyad to achieve tangible progress on the ground.

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