Japan-Nepal Foreign Ministers' Meeting
On January 9, from 6:25 p.m. for approximately 45 minutes until 7:10 p.m. (local time; from 9:40 p.m. until 10:25 p.m., Japan time) during his visit to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a meeting with the Honorable Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. The overview of the meeting is as follows. After the meeting, a signing ceremony for an exchange of notes regarding the amendment to the schedule to the Air Services Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Kingdom of Nepal (the Japan-Nepal Air Services Agreement), and a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Cooperation on conducting bilateral consultations were held, followed by a dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Gyawali and his wife.
1 General remarks
In response, Minister Kono stated that he was happy to visit Nepal and meet again so soon after Minister Gyawali's visit to Japan in November last year. Minister Kono noted that his visit to Nepal was the first by a Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan in approximately seven years, and conveyed his intention to support the economic development of Nepal.
2 Bilateral relations
- Minister Kono stated that Nepal was located between South Asia and China, and explained that Nepal's sustainable development was important to the peace and stability of the region as a whole. Minister Kono explained Japan's readiness to support the socioeconomic development of Nepal as a longtime friend, and to strengthen exchanges with Nepal. Minister Kono, also mentioning that Minister Gyawali visited Japanese agricultural facilities during his previous visit to Japan, expressed his hope for Japan's technologies in the field of agriculture to prove helpful for agricultural development in Nepal. Minister Kono, hoping to pursue cooperation in the field of agriculture, explained that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was to dispatch a research team from January 22 as the first step. In addition, Minister Kono expressed the view that the relationship between the two countries was underpinned by people-to-people exchanges, and explained that Japan was scheduled to invite 12 young people from Nepal via the JENESYS (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) Program from January 20. Minister Kono explained that Tamura City in Fukushima Prefecture, Komagane City in Nagano Prefecture and Kobe City were host towns for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and expressed hope that sports exchanges and inter-regional exchanges would move forward. Minister Kono stated that direct flights between the two countries would further strengthen bilateral exchanges, and expressed satisfaction to sign the exchange of notes regarding the amendment to the schedule to the Air Services Agreement with Minister Gyawali.
- Minister Gyawali once again expressed gratitude for Japan's support for Nepal's development in the socioeconomic field, along with expressing hope that Japan would continue to support Nepal in graduating from least developed country (LDC) status in 2030. Minister Gyawali welcomed the move to reopen direct flights as a result of the amendment to the schedule to the Air Services Agreement, and showed his intention to hold discussions aimed at concluding a bilateral document for dispatching worker from Nepal to Japan.
- The two ministers welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation on conducting bilateral consultations, and shared the view that cooperation should move forward in a broad range of fields by these consultations.
3 Global challenges
[Reference] Signing ceremony for the exchange of notes regarding the amendment to the schedule to the Japan-Nepal Air Services Agreement.
Consultations took place between the two countries' aviation authorities based on a request from the Nepalese-side asking for the interests of airlines designated by the Nepalese-side to be expanded (including through Narita routes). As a result of those consultations the two sides agreed to amend the schedule to the Japan-Nepal Air Services Agreement, and so those details have now been confirmed through this exchange of diplomatic notes. This amendment to the schedule will relax the restrictions under the agreement with regard to the route destinations that the designated airlines of both countries can operate air services on.
[Reference] Signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Cooperation on conducting bilateral consultations
An agreement to set up a policy dialogue between Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries was reached at the Japan-Nepal Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in October 2014 in Tokyo. The first dialogue was held in Tokyo in March 2015 and the second dialogue was held in Kathmandu in June 2016. Based on a request from the Nepalese-side to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation on holding this consultation regularly, a bilateral Memorandum of Cooperation has now been created and signed.