Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministerial Meeting

April 17, 2011

  • (photo) Foreign Minister Matsumoto shaking hands with Secretary of State Clinton
  • (photo) Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministerial Meeting
  • (photo) Joint Press Conference

On April 17, Foreign Minister Matsumoto held a meeting for approximately 35 minutes with Secretary of State Clinton during her stay in Japan. The outline of the meeting is as follows: (Ambassador Roos, Deputy Secretary Nides, Assistant Secretary of State Campbell, etc. joined from the U.S. side; State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Banno, Ambassador Fujisaki, Director-General Umemoto, etc. joined from the Japanese side).

1 Great East Japan Earthquake

(1) Opening Remarks

Minister Matsumoto welcomed Secretary Clinton's visit which was intended to show solidarity between two countries, and expressed gratitude for encouragement and supports from a great number of U.S. citizens as well as President Obama and Secretary Clinton. He stated that he feels the Japanese people are reassured by the Japan-U.S. alliance. Secretary replied that she came to Japan to demonstrate strong bonds of friendship between the two countries on behalf of the United States, and that there has been a great outpouring of solicitude, sympathy, and admiration for the great resilience and spirit that the Japanese people have shown throughout this very difficult period.

(2) Nuclear Power Plant Accident and Nuclear Safety

Minister Matsumoto stated that the Government of Japan has continued to make every effort to cool down reactors and spent fuels, as well as to prevent further diffusion of radioactive substances. He expressed his intention to continue to work closely with the United States as was done so far with the U.S. experts. Secretary Clinton replied by stating how she was impressed by the dedication of the Japanese experts working at the nuclear power plant accident site, and expressed the willingness of the United States to continue to cooperate with Japan as long as its technology remained useful.

(3) Cooperation in Reconstruction

The two ministers stated that they were pleased to announce a partnership between the two countries with the participation of both public and private sectors. Secretary Clinton stated that U.S. private companies were also willing to work together towards the reconstruction of Japan. Minister Matsumoto replied that he would like to move forward with whatever that could be done, in consultation with private sectors on how to proceed.

Furthermore, Minister Matsumoto valued the announcement of the partnership as well as the relaxation of travel restrictions to Japan by the U.S. on April 15th as a positive message to the Japanese economy. In response, Secretary Clinton stated that the purpose of her visit to Japan was to convey to the Japanese people the United States' message of solidarity and to tell the U.S. citizens that Japan is open for business and travel.

2 Japan-U.S. relations

(1) Mutual Visits

Minister Matsumoto stated that he would like to see the Prime Minister visit the U.S. and that he would like to visit the U.S. himself at an earliest opportunity, and to hold the "2+2" at an earliest timing with the participation of all the four ministers concerned. Secretary Clinton replied that she would like to move forward with the arrangement of a schedule, as there were a number of issues to be discussed between Japan and the U.S.

(2) The Relocation of the Futenma Air Station

Regarding the relocation of the Futenma Air Station and the reduction of the impact of bases on Okinawa, Minister Matsumoto explained that the government of Japan intends to steadily implement the Japan-U.S. agreement of May, 2010.

(3) The Issue of Child Custody

Minister Matsumoto explained that the Government of Japan had been working internally to address this issue even after the earthquake. In response, Secretary Clinton stated that she was pleased to hear that the work had been steadily done and noted that it remained an internationally important issue.

3 North Korea

Minister Matsumoto stated that he would like to maintain close coordination among Japan, the U.S., and the Republic of Korea and that it is important to deal with North Korea's uranium enrichment activities in an appropriate manner while demanding North Korea's concrete actions. He also expressed his intention to further discuss this issue, as well as the abduction issue, on the occasion of his visit to the U.S. In response, Secretary Clinton explained the result of her visit to the Republic of Korea concisely.

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