Japan-Laos Relations

Japan-Laos Summit Meeting

October 8, 2018
Japanese

On October 8, commencing at 4:10 p.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office with H.E. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), who was visiting Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The meeting was attended by Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Kotaro Nogami, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Kentaro Sonoura, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, and other government officials. Following the meeting, the two leaders attended a cooperation document signing ceremony and held a joint press announcement.

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    Photograph of the leaders shaking hands
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
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    Photograph of the Japan- Laos Summit Meeting
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

1. Beginning

(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Thongloun’s second visit to Japan this year, extended his sympathies over the flooding that accompanied the dam collapse that occurred in the Lao PDR in late July, and stated that the Government of Japan implemented emergency assistance, and in addition, Japanese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supported by the Japanese Government are undertaking operations on-site now, and Japan intends to cooperate towards the restoration of the disaster-affected area.

(2) In response, Prime Minister Thongloun stated that he feels honored to meet Prime Minister Abe again, expressed his gratitude for the emergency assistance extended by the Government of Japan, and stated that he hopes to strengthen the “Strategic Partnership” of the two countries. Prime Minister Thongloun also congratulated Prime Minister Abe on being re-elected as the President of the Liberal Democratic Party.

2. Economic cooperation and other bilateral relations

(1) Prime Minister Abe noted that the two countries recently decided to cooperate in the field of unexploded ordnance removal, and explained that next month Japan’s Ministry of Defense is scheduled to implement a Capacity Building Assistance project in the Lao PDR, in the field of humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Prime Minister Abe also explained that this year is a milestone year that marks the 20th anniversary of cooperation between Japan and the Lao PDR on the development of the legal and judicial system, and stated that Japan intends to continue with nation-building and human resources development in the field of the legal and judicial system. Prime Minister Abe stated that these are good examples of cooperation from the viewpoint of aiming to realize a “Free and Open Indo-PacificOpen a New Window,” and explained that Japan intends to coordinate and cooperate, as a partner that is pursuing peace, stability and prosperity in the Mekong region.

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    Photograph of the signing and exchange
    of documents ceremony
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • 画像2
    Photograph of the signing and exchange
    of documents ceremony
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

(2) In response, Prime Minister Thongloun stated that many years of support from Japan are significantly contributing to the development in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture and forestry, health and unexploded ordnance removal in the Lao PDR. Prime Minister Thongloun explained that the Lao PDR faces the challenge of its macro economy, and stated that he hopes for the continued support of the Government of Japan. With regard to improving the investment environment, Prime Minister Thongloun explained that in the past he was involved in setting up the framework for the public-private dialogue, and intends to continue to cooperate. Prime Minister Thongloun explained that he welcomes hearing the views from Japanese companies.

(3) Prime Minister Abe mentioned that on the previous day Mr. Pia Laophakdee won a gold medal in weightlifting in the 49-kilogram Men’s Division at the Asian Para Games 2018 currently taking place in Indonesia, and Prime Minister Thongloun replied that this was a historical achievement.

3. Regional cooperation and cooperation in the international arena

The two sides held a frank and meaningful exchange of views concerning challenges in the regional and international arenas, including North Korea and the South China Sea, and shared the view that they will work together further. In particular, with regard to the North Korea situation, the two leaders share the position that the full implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions is necessary for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and then Prime Minister Thongloun expressed support for the early resolution of the abductions issue.

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    Photograph of the joint press announcement
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)