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Last Update : Friday, Apr 24, 2015

JapanGov Weekly

[Cabinet Secretariat] [Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015]

Address to the Asian-African Summit 2015-- on the occasion of the Asian-African Conference Commemoration-- by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Let me first extend my heartfelt congratulations to Your Excellency President Joko Widodo and all those involved in Indonesia for successfully hosting this entire gathering to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference.

It makes me proud to stand here representing a nation that is a member of the group of Asian and African countries.

Live and Let Live
"Live and let live." This is what President Soekarno said. And this pledge representing the Bandung spirit is still common to us now, 60 years later.

Since ancient times, Asia and Africa have given birth to, and spread throughout the rest of the world, a variety of ideas and religions. The spirit of generosity, one that cherishes diversity among us, is an important common asset we should be proud of.

In keeping with this same spirit, it was our friends in Asia and Africa who propelled Japan after the Second World War to make possible our reentry into the international community. To those friends of ours, let me take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude.

History made it inevitable, one could say, for those countries gathered here three score years ago to show their strong unity, since our forefathers then had a common wish, a wish for peace.

Let's Tackle Them Together
And now, as we again gather in the same place, we share a great many more common risks than we did sixty years ago.

We should never allow to go unchecked the use of force by the mightier to twist the weaker around. The wisdom of our forefathers in Bandung was that the rule of law should protect the dignity of sovereign nations, be they large or small.

Despicable terrorism is becoming widespread throughout the world. We must give no haven to terrorists anywhere in the world.

National borders are meaningless in the face of infectious diseases or natural disasters. Climate change has exposed fragile island nations to the risk of not surviving, or of even disappearing. No single nation alone can solve such problems.

Let us tackle them together.

Once again, we must show our strong unity to the rest of the world.

Japan's Resolve
Japan is resolved, in these circumstances, to continue to do its utmost from now on, just as it has thus far.

"Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country."

"Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means...."

Those are some of the principles Bandung affirmed. And Japan, with feelings of deep remorse over the past war, made a pledge to remain a nation always adhering to those very principles throughout, no matter what the circumstances.

Japan also resolved that among Asian and African countries seeking peace and prosperity under those Bandung principles, we should stand at the forefront.

Hence started our journey. It brought us first to India sixty years ago, where we perspired together with local farmers to build their capacities on how to operate farm machines. It also took us to Sri Lanka, where, together with the local people, we fought against an epidemic troubling livestock farmers.

And then the journey took us to Africa, where we have been sharing with the local people both the work ethic and the wisdom found in our manufacturing, proudly developed on our factory shop floors. The idea of kaizen has taken root in Ethiopia, where a workshop with that very name has greatly improved labor productivity.

In 1993, Japan launched the TICAD process, inviting heads of state from Africa over to Japan. That is a forum where we discuss our future with each other.

Sixty years have brought our calendar full circle and have made the world landscape dramatically different.

Now it is Asia, and it is also Africa, more than anywhere else, where you find the spirit of growth in the breeze, together with the rich soil of dynamic growth potential.

I say to you that Asian and African nations are no longer Japan's aid recipients. They are Japan's partners for growth.

Next year’s TICAD meeting will be the first to take place on the soil of Africa, which is so full of energy. Whether we build up human capacities or infrastructure, all will be an investment into the future.

Let's Prosper Together
Let us prosper together.

The frontiers of Asia and Africa are limitless.

We must build a market that is open and dynamic. We must turn that market, or that frontier, into soil that promises prosperity for our children and our grandchildren. The TPP, the RCEP and the FTAAP -- in my view will all eventually head toward Africa.

Traction for growth is always found in people. The diversity of people in any country must be harnessed to become an engine, and never a distraction, for powerful growth. Japan stands behind the empowerment of women. Hand in hand with the young and ambitious in Asia and Africa, we will foster them into a generation that will shoulder their countries' industrial development.

Japan's resolve is to turn growth in Asia and Africa into an enduring, not ephemeral, event. With that resolve in mind, over the next five years, we are going to help as many as three hundred and fifty thousand people throughout the region acquire technology expertise and industrial knowledge.

Ladies and gentlemen, the variety among our countries is manifold. Our political systems differ. Our levels of economic development are not the same. Our cultures are distinct from one another. No one society looks the same as any other.

Still, sixty years ago, President Soekarno called on the delegates that had gathered to think about the following.

"What harm is in diversity, when there is unity in desire?"

Indeed, we face a whole host of risks in common. The fact, once recognized, should bind us easily in this “unity in diversity.”

To cite President Soekarno once again, "we Asians and Africans must be united" to solve the diverse range of difficulties as we face today.

Let us all cherish our rich diversity. And let us together build peace and prosperity, shall we not, for our children, and for our children's children.

Thank you very much.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Thursday, Apr 16, 2015]

G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

The G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in Lubeck, Germany on Tuesday, April 14 and Wednesday, April 15. The overview is as follows. (Participants: The Foreign Ministers of the G7 countries and the High Representative of the EU. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended from Japan).

1. Regional affairs

(1) East Asia

Minister Kishida led the discussion on East Asia. In particular, he explained that the continuation of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs poses a serious threat to the international community overall, along with addressing that the abductions issue is a universal issue for the international community, as a violation of fundamental human rights.
The G7 strongly condemned the continuation of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs and reiterated their grave concerns over shared the view that human rights violations, including the abductions issue.

(2) Iran

The G7 welcomed the ‘‘key parameters on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’’ that was reached at the end of March, and shared the view that they will support efforts for a final agreement. Additionally, they confirmed that they will seek to ensure that Iran takes responsible action in the areas of regional stability and human rights.
Minister Kishida stated that reaching a final agreement on the nuclear issue is important, and stressed that Japan has been making an effort thus far and will continue making every possible effort going forward.

(3) Syria, Iraq, and ISIL

The G7 shared the view that they strongly condemn the indiscriminate attacks, atrocities, murders and human rights violations being carried out by ISIL.
Minister Kishida emphasized that countries should coordinate with contributions that leverage their strengths, and undertake multilateral, long-term initiatives.

(4) Ukraine and Russia situation

The G7 shared recognition regarding the importance of implementing the Minsk Agreement, and that the conflict will only be resolved as a result of a diplomatic resolution that respects international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. They also shared the view that they will encourage Ukraine’s domestic reform.
Minister Kishida pointed out that the steady implementation of the Minsk Agreement is important, and that Japan will strive to improve the situation while attaching importance to the solidarity of the G7.

2. Global issues

(1) Counterterrorism

The G7 strongly condemned recent terrorism incidents, and shared the view that solidarity in the fight against violent extremism, holding moderate views, and tolerance are important. They also shared the view that the G7 will work together to strengthen counterterrorism.
Minister Kishida explained that Japan is pursuing comprehensive initiatives that focus on the three pillars of: 1) strengthening international and domestic counter-terrorism measures; 2) enhancing diplomacy towards stability and prosperity in the Middle East; and 3) assistance in creating societies resilient to radicalization.
(2) Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

Minister Kishida stated that this year is the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings and attaches importance to presenting a path toward ‘‘a world without nuclear weapons’’ at the 2015 NPT Review Conference. He called for cooperation in order to achieve substantive progress. The G7 confirmed they will coordinate their commitment to a world without nuclear weapons. The G7 Statement on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament includes that the atomic bombings are reminders of the devastating consequences of nuclear weapons use.

(3) Maritime security

Minister Kishida pointed out that in the context of maritime security, the principles of the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of conflicts should be respected. Furthermore, the G7 shared the view that they are committed to freedom of navigation and overflight and are concerned about attempts to unilaterally change the status quo, and that disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law.

(4) Ebola virus disease

The G7 stressed that they will work together and provide support to end the Ebola virus disease, and confirmed the need for medium- to long-term infection control measures and healthcare measures that utilize the lessons learned thus far.

(5) Climate change

The G7 confirmed that they will work together in the run up to the COP21 taking place in December this year, to ensure a new framework can be adopted.

3. Other

Additionally, discussion took place on a variety of issues, including on the Middle East and Africa.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Friday, Apr 17, 2015]

Japan’s response to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa (Provision of Ebola test kits to Guinea)

1. With regard to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, the Government of Japan, responding to requests from the Government of the Republic of Guinea, decided to provide Ebola test kits newly developed by Nagasaki University and Toshiba Corporation.

2. Dr. Jiro Yasuda, professor at Nagasaki University who developed a reagent for the Ebola test kit, as well as his colleague will be visiting Guinea from 22 April in order to offer Guinean officials technical trainings on the Ebola test kit.

3. The Government of Guinea declared on March 28 a reinforcement of emergency measures for a period of 45 days towards the end of the current Ebola outbreak. The Guinean Government, encouraged by the results of a field testing of the reagent carried out in March in the country by Nagasaki University, made emergency requests so that the Ebola test kit can be used for the ongoing reinforcement campaign. Given this background, the Governmen.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Friday, Apr 17, 2015]

Dispatch of Experts in Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in West African Countries

1. The Government of Japan has decided to newly dispatch two experts to the Republic of Sierra Leone through the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West African countries.

2. The experts being dispatched this time are Dr. Hajime Kamiya from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (dispatched from April 19, 2015, to May 29, 2015), and Dr. Atsuhiro Kanayama from the National Defense Medical College (dispatched from April 21, 2015, to May 29, 2015).

3. This brings the total number of Japanese experts having participated or participating in the WHO mission to 19.