Countries & Regions

April 10, 2013

On the first day of their meeting, the Group of Eight (G8) Foreign Ministers held a working dinner, hosted by Rt. Hon. William Hague, Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, for approximately two hours, from around 8 p.m. to around 10 P.M., on April 10 (Wednesday local time).

An overview of the dinner follows:

  1. The working dinner was an informal session attended only by the Foreign Ministers from the G8 countries. The ministers exchanged views freely on a broad range of issues including the international situation.
  2. The ministers spent a lot of time discussing issues related to Syria. Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida explained Japan's four basic policies toward Syria, along with measures that have been taken in line with those policies: (1) humanitarian assistance; (2) increasing pressure on the administration of President Bashar Al-Assad; (3) support for opposition groups in Syria; (4) preparation for reconstruction assistance in the post-Al-Assad era in Syria. Minister Kishida explained that Japan has extended a total of about 80 million dollars in humanitarian assistance to Syria. He proposed that the G8 should issue a strong message to warn Syria against the use of chemical weapons. Furthermore, Minister Kishida underscored the important role the United Nations Security Council can play to facilitate progress in the transition process led by Syrian people and in the integration of opposition groups.
  3. During the dinner, Minister Kishida referred to the Japan-China relationship and explained the Japanese government's basic policy that: (1) the Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations for Japan and Japan intends to promote mutually beneficial strategic relations with China from a broad perspective and (2) Japan acts calmly even in difficult situations.

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