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Last Update : Friday, Jul 24, 2015

JapanGov Weekly

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

Japan-Luxembourg Summit Meeting

On July 17, commencing at 5:40 p.m. for approximately 45 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E. Mr. Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, Minister for Communications and Media, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, who is currently visiting Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows. In addition, the Joint Statement on Economic Relations (attachment) (French (PDF)) / Japanese (PDF)) was issued at the meeting.

1. Opening Remarks

Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Bettel to Japan, and appreciated that Prime Minister Bettel chose Japan as his first country to visit outside the European Union (EU) since Luxembourg assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU in July.

In response, Prime Minister Bettel expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s invitation and hospitality. He explained that he was overjoyed to be able to visit Japan as the EU Presidency, which represents the 500 million people of the EU, and noted that the bilateral relations, including the relationship between the Imperial Family of Japan and the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg, is extremely friendly. In addition, Prime Minister Bettel also asked Prime Minister Abe to visit Luxembourg.

2. Japan-EU Relations

Prime Minister Abe expressed his respect for Luxembourg’s promotion of European integration since the establishment of the EU, noting that three European Commission Presidents, including H.E. Jean-Claude Juncker, actual President of the European Commission, are from Luxembourg and stated that he held high expectations for Luxembourg’s leadership during its EU Presidency.

Prime Minister Bettel stated that during its EU Presidency Luxembourg intended to make utmost efforts to strengthen not only bilateral but also Japan-EU relations. The two leaders affirmed that they would strive to realize an agreement in principle on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) ( during this year.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe requested Luxembourg’s cooperation abolishing or easing restrictions on importing food and other items produced in Japan, including items produced in Fukushima Prefecture. Prime Minister Bettel expressed the view that he personally was a witness that such items are not harmful, and explained that he did not want to see victims suffer and intended to work toward simplification.

3. Bilateral Relations

Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan had returned as a country which can enjoy economic growth. He expressed his intention to deepen economic relations and strengthen cooperation between private-sector companies also so that both countries can grow, and explained that a Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) mission will be dispatched to Luxembourg in October. Prime Minister Abe also explained the Peace and Security Legislation currently under deliberation in the Diet, and stated that he hoped to cooperate on the United Nations (UN) Security Council reform and counterterrorism.

In response, Prime Minister Bettel expressed his support for Prime Minister Abe’s efforts stating that implementing necessary policies though unpopular is the role of the politician. Prime Minister Bettel expressed his intention to strengthen the bilateral relationship in such fields as information and communications technology as well as finance. Prime Minister Bettel also expressed his intention to cooperate on the UN Security Council reform and counterterrorism.

4. Regional Affairs

(1) Ukraine and Russia

The two leaders affirmed the need for all the concerned parties to comply with the Minsk agreements, and the importance of ongoing dialogues with Russia, including at the leader level. Prime Minister Bettel also expressed his appreciation for Japan’s support for Ukraine’s reform efforts.

(2) Greece

Prime Minister Bettel explained that the EU was working together to resolve the Greece crisis.

(3) East Asia situation

Prime Minister Abe explained the East Asia situation, and Prime Minister Bettel expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Abe’s efforts.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs] [Wednesday, Jul 22, 2015]

Japan-Honduras Summit Meeting

On July 22, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a summit meeting with H.E Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado, The President of the Republic of Honduras. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

Following the summit meeting both leaders held a press announcement in which a Joint Statement (Spanishi (PDF)) (Japanese (PDF)) was issued. Afterwards a dinner hosted by Prime Minister and Mrs. Abe for the President and his wife took place in a cordial atmosphere, with conversations covering a broad range of themes on bilateral relations such as sports exchanges.

1. Opening Remarks

Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Hernández on his first visit to Japan and the first visit by a President of Honduras in 10 years, expressing his pleasure at being able to welcome the President in Japan in this commemorative year of the 80th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Honduras and the Japan-SICA Friendship Year 2015. Prime Minister Abe noted that Japan would continue to support the stability and development of Honduras and that the Government seeks to strengthen relations in various fields as a partner with which Honduras can “develop, lead and inspire together.”

In response, President Hernández stated that he was delighted to be able to visit Japan in this memorable year, given that Japan is a country with which Honduras shares close and brotherly relations. The President noted that Honduras would join together with Japan in making relations even closer.

2. Political and Economic Relations

Prime Minister Abe provided an explanation about the Government’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, noting that Honduras was the first country to which a Self-Defense Force (SDF) Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) Team had been dispatched, following hurricane damage in 1998. President Hernández welcomed and expressed his support for the activities being implemented by Japan. President Hernández also expressed his appreciation for the assistance that had been provided by Japan in the wake of the hurricane, noting that it was something that had not been forgotten by the people of Honduras. President Hernández also explained plans to improve law and order and develop human resources with a view to achieving prosperity in Honduras, and also infrastructure development plans, which aim to establish Honduras as a logistics center linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would continue to provide assistance for the sustainable social and economic development of Honduras, and would continue to provide support to the Central American region as a whole, with the aim of contributing to region-wide development.

Both leaders also noted and welcomed the fact that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of an agreement on the dispatch of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV).

3. Strengthening Cooperation in the International Arena

Prime Minister Abe expressed his wish to further strengthen cooperation with Honduras on various international matters, including United Nations Security Council (UNSC) reform. In particular, President Hernández responded that with regard to UNSC reform, Honduras supports the position of the G4, including Japan.