Joint Press Statement on the occasion of the visit of President Ali Abudullah Saleh of the Republic of Yemen to Japan

Tokyo, March 16, Japan

  1. His Excellency Mr. Ali Abudullah Saleh, President of the Republic of Yemen, is visiting Japan from March 14 to 17, 1999, as an official guest of the Government of Japan.
          This is the first visit to Japan by Yemeni Head of State. His visit to Japan represents an important milestone in the history of Japan-Yemen relations: it opens a new chapter for the existing excellent relations between the two countries.

  2. On March 15, President Saleh made a state call on His Majesty The Emperor and attended court luncheon hosted by His Majesty The Emperor. President Saleh also held a meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives Soichiro Ito.
          On the same day, President Saleh and His Excellency Mr.Keizo Obuchi, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting and discussed a variety of issues ranging from bilateral to international.
          On March 16, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulkader Abdulrahman Bajammal and Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura held another meeting.

  3. At all the meetings, both sides hoped to open a new horizon of cooperation, including cooperation in the political arena.

  4. Both leaders shared a deep concern over the stalled peace process in the Middle East, and they reaffirmed the need to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The Yemeni side supported Japan's contribution to the Middle East peace process.

  5. Both sides expressed their concern over the Iraqi issues. They called upon the Iraqi government to comply with all the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and expressed their sympathy with the plight of Iraqi people, reaffirming their commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq. Both sides noted the importance of securing peace and stability in the Gulf region in particular and in the Arabian Peninsula in general.

  6. Mindful of the importance of the stability and security in the Red Sea region, both sides expressed their grave concern over the existing conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. They called upon the Governments of Ethiopia and Eritrea to accept the international calls to cease fighting and start negotiations based upon the OAU efforts for a peaceful settlement of the dispute. Both Japanese and Yemeni sides confirmed that they will consult and cooperate closely with each other on this issue.

  7. Both sides welcomed recent development in the situation of Afghanistan such as an agreement between the Taliban and the anti-Taliban factions upon establishing a coalition government, and expressed their earnest hope that these factions will accelerate the negotiation to realize the comprehensive peace in that country.

  8. Both sides shared the view that the reform of the United Nations is essential in ensuring that the UN is to play an even more effective role in the next century. Both sides confirmed that they will strengthen consultations and cooperation for the realization of the UN reform including the reform of the Security Council with an expansion of both permanent and non-permanent membership, the financial reform and the reform in the area of development. President Saleh also confirmed his country's support for Japan to obtain a permanent membership in the Security Council, to which Prime Minister Obuchi expressed appreciation.

  9. Both sides recognized that Japan and Yemen shared many similar objectives with regard to key global issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, ban on anti-personnel land mines, mine clearance and assistance to mine victims, promotion of democracy, human rights and protection of the environment. In this connection, Prime Minister Obuchi expressed Japan's intention to extend financial contribution as its cooperation in the field of mine awareness and victim assistance, to National Demining Program in the Republic of Yemen of the United Nations Development Programme as a part of Japan's "Zero Victim Program", to which President Saleh expressed gratitude.

  10. Prime Minister Obuchi also highly valued Yemen's untiring efforts for structural adjustments and stressed Japan's readiness to support Yemen's endeavors for nation-building on the basis of promoting development, economic reforms and democracy, through economic cooperation programmes. As a part of such support, he expressed Japan's intention to hold a policy consultation on economic cooperation in the next fiscal year. President Saleh expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Japan's support for economic reforms and its contribution to social development in Yemen. In the same context, the two Foreign Ministers signed and exchanged notes concerning the non-project grant assistance to support Yemen's structural adjustment efforts.

  11. The Yemeni side, at various meetings, noting the importance of the Free Zone of Aden in Yemen's economic development, expressed its intention to make further efforts to encourage Japanese corporations to invest in Yemen, and the Japanese side welcomed such efforts. During the visit of President Saleh to Japan, a Seminar on Investment in Yemen sponsored by the Yemeni Government was held in Tokyo with co-sponsorship of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Japan Cooperation Center for the Middle East and the Middle East Institute of Japan.

  12. President Saleh extended an invitation to Prime Minister Obuchi to visit the Republic of Yemen, to which Prime Minister Obuchi expressed his gratitude.

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