Japan-Laos Relations

July 24, 2016
Japan-Laos Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 1
Japan-Laos Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2

On July 24, commencing at 7:45 p.m. (local time) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is visiting the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), held a Japan-Laos Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR. The overview is as follows.

1. Opening remarks

In his opening remarks, Foreign Minister Saleumxay welcomed Minister Kishida’s second visit to Laos and expressed pleasure at meeting him again. Foreign Minister Saleumxay explained that the Government of Laos and he personally are deeply grateful for the Government of Japan’s support thus far as well as the cooperation that Japan is extending to the Chair country, and he would like to cooperate for the success of ASEAN-related Summit Meetings in September.

In response, Minister Kishida stated that he received a warm welcome when he visited Laos in May, and is pleased to be able to visit twice in the past two months. Minister Kishida also conveyed his condolences on the recent passing of Mr. Samane Vinyaketh, former Chairman of the National Assembly of Laos. Minister Kishida expressed his sincere respect for the efforts of Foreign Minister Saleumxay, who is serving as Chair of the ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers’ Meetings, and explained that Japan would provide its full support to Laos, centering on Laos’ eight priority areas, along with expressing his pleasure that the conference center that Japan repaired and other facilities are being utilized for this event. Minister Kishida also expressed his gratitude for the decision at the Government of Laos that the visit to Laos by Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister, which is scheduled for September, will be an official visit.

2. Bilateral relations

Minister Kishida explained that in the interests of Laos’ sustainable development, the Government of Japan recently decided to support the drafting of a master plan for power system development, the promotion of a safe and high-quality agriculture industry, and the drafting of an urban transport master plan for the capital city. Minister Kishida also stated that he intends to work together so that the Japan-Laos Joint Development Cooperation Plan can be announced.

In response, Foreign Minister Saleumxay once again conveyed his gratitude for the Government of Japan’s support for a series of development cooperation. Noting that H.E. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of Laos, attended a G7 Ise-Shima Summit Outreach Meeting, Foreign Minister Saleumxay appreciated the outcomes of that visit to Japan, explained that although it was a short visit, it was effective and fruitful, and expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan and the officials concerned who strove to make the visit possible. Minister Kishida replied that he is grateful for the cooperation of Prime Minister Thongloun, whose visit to Japan for attending the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, and that thanks to Prime Minister Thongloun the event was a success. Minister Kishida explained that Prime Minister Abe is also looking forward to visiting Laos in September.

3. Others

In addition, the two foreign ministers held a frank exchange of views on issues in the regional and international arenas, including the South China Sea and the North Korea.

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