Japan-Yemen Joint Press Statement on the occasion of the visit by President Ali Abdullah Saleh of the Republic of Yemen to Japan

Tokyo, November 8, 2005, Japan

  1. His Excellency Mr. Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic of Yemen, visited Japan from November 6 to 8, 2005, at the invitation of the Government of Japan. This was the second visit of the President as the head of State of Yemen, which follows his first visit as a guest of the Government of Japan in March, 1999, and was a good occasion to further deepen and develop the amicable relations between the two countries.
  2. On November 7, President Saleh made a state call on His Majesty The Emperor. President Saleh also held a meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Yohei Kono. On the same day, President Saleh and Prime Minister Mr. Jyunichiro Koizumi held talks and discussed a variety of issues ranging from bilateral relations to regional and international affairs. President Saleh also met members of the Japanese Parliament, the President of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and others.
  3. At all the meetings, both the Yemeni and Japanese sides confirmed their willingness to further develop the friendly and cooperative relationship between both the two countries and the peoples. At the summit talks, both sides reaffirmed that the stability of Yemen is critical to the stability of the Arabian Peninsula. Both sides confirmed their commitment not only to strengthen the relations in the traditional forms of cooperation but also to share information and closely cooperate in such areas as poverty reduction, democratization and prevention of terror, with the support of the international community to eradicate poverty according as the Millennium Summit Declaration of 2000.
  4. Both sides expressed their strong hope that further progress would be made in the Middle East peace process and called upon the international community to strengthen its political and economic support for the advancement of the process and encouraged the Israelis and the Palestinians to make greater efforts towards achieving a lasting peace. The Yemeni side highly appreciated the involvement of Japan in the advancement of the Middle East peace process and, in particular, Japan's assistance to the Palestinians.
  5. Both sides welcomed the approval of the draft constitution of Iraq in the recent national referendum, as it represents a very significant step in the development of the Iraq's political process, and expressed their hope that this political process will lead to stable and united Iraq in which all Iraqis of different religious and ethnic groups live in peace. The Yemeni side highly appreciated Japan's humanitarian assistance to Iraq and reconstruction assistance by the Self Defense Forces and Official Development Assistance (ODA).
  6. Both sides shared the view that comprehensive reform of the United Nations (UN) is important for the UN to address the new conditions of the 21st century. And both sides affirmed to cooperate toward realizing the reform of the UN including the Security Council during the current session of the General Assembly, recognizing that early reform of the Security Council is an essential element of the overall effort to reform the UN. President Saleh renewed Yemen's support for Japan's permanent membership in the Security Council. Prime Minister Koizumi expressed deep gratitude for the support.
  7. Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his support for Yemen's successful and continuous efforts in the fight against terrorism in collaboration with the international community. Both sides shared the view that Yemen's efforts to accelerate its poverty reduction program and democratization will lead to the eradication of the safe haven of terror and to the prevention of terrorism. To that end, the Japanese side expressed its readiness to extend assistance to achieve these goals.

    Yemen welcomed Japan's decision to continue the fight against terrorism through activities based upon the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law.

    Both sides confirmed that non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and their delivery means is essential for the peace and stability of both the Middle Eastern and East Asian regions and the entire world.
  8. Prime Minister Koizumi highly applauded Yemen's policies on economic reforms and democratization under the leadership of President Saleh. The Japanese side expressed its support to these efforts, and expressed its hope that Yemen's economic reforms will improve the living standard of its people. The Japanese side recognizes the importance of basic education, rural water supply and health services and has proactively extended assistance to these sectors in Yemen, through its ODA utilizing such schemes as Non-Project Grant Aid and Grant Aid for Increase of Food Production (2KR). The Japanese side expressed its readiness to further support Yemen's efforts in these sectors.

    In this connection, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will undertake a development study to formulate a project for rural water supply to cover designated areas in five governorates of Yemen and to improve the capacities of the local water supply authorities. JICA will also enlarge Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) dispatch program which was resumed last July. Furthermore, in view of the presidential election and local council elections which will be held nationwide in 2006, the Japanese side has expressed its readiness to consider assistance to the government of Yemen to further accelerate the democratization process in Yemen.

    The Japanese side also expressed its intention to consolidate the concept of human security in Yemen, a concept which Japan takes the initiative to promote to the entire world. The Japanese side stated that it has decided to extend assistance toward the Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) to support the activities for clearance of land mines.
  9. While expressing deep appreciation for Japan's assistances to Yemen to date, including debt relief, the Yemeni side explained the economic and social challenges which the country is facing as a result of the reforms made by the government of Yemen and asked for increased support from Japan.

    Taking into consideration the aforementioned request from the Yemeni side, both sides decided to hold a policy consultation on economic cooperation around the first half of 2006 in Sana'a, in order to exchange views on Japan's medium term aid policy toward Yemen as well as Yemen's needs in the fields of democratization and preventive measures of terror. In light of the level of ODA Japan has extended to Yemen, the Yemeni side expressed its wish that Japan would substantially increase ODA as well as to resume Yen loan to finance infrastructure projects.
  10. Both sides referred to the importance of further promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and welcomed the participation of Yemeni officials in the Japanese Language Program offered by the Government of Japan. Both sides also welcomed the increased popularity of Yemen among Japanese people as a result of Yemen's participation in World Exposition 2005 in Aichi Prefecture as well as a documentary TV program in Japan on World Cultural Heritage of Yemen and other activities.
  11. President Saleh expressed its gratitude to the Japanese side for its hospitality and extended an invitation to Prime Minister Koizumi to visit the Republic of Yemen. Prime Minister Koizumi accepted this and expressed his gratitude for the invitation.

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