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Last Update : Monday, Nov 30, 2015

JapanGov Weekly

[Cabinet Secretariat] [Thursday, Nov 26, 2015]

Global Warming Prevention Headquarters

[Provisional Translation]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the 31st meeting of the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters at the Prime Minister's Office.

During the meeting, discussions took place on Japan’s policies towards COP21 (the 2015 Paris Climate Conference) .

Based on today’s discussion, the Prime Minister said,

“On Sunday, I will depart Japan to attend COP21. I hope to reach an agreement on a new international mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Today, we finalized Actions for Cool Earth 2.0, which is shortened to the acronym ACE 2.0. This further strengthens Japan’s contributions toward combating climate change, shown in ACE which was created in 2013.

The first component of these actions is providing support to developing countries. Japan finds it very important that all countries participate in the new international mechanism.

In order to encourage the active participation of developing countries, Japan will increase its annual financial support to 1.3 trillion yen by the year 2020. I believe this will lay the groundwork for developed countries to achieve the long-term finance of 100 billion dollars a year by 2020.

The second component is innovation. The key to balancing climate change measures and economic growth is the development of innovative new technologies. This includes technologies to manufacture, store and transport hydrogen with the goal of creating a carbon-free society. It also includes developing next generation batteries that will extend the range of current electric vehicles fivefold.

By next spring, we will compile the energy and environmental innovation strategy. We will identify promising fields on which to focus and strengthen research and development.

The government will exert its best efforts so that a fair and effective mechanism is created in which all countries will participate. I ask for your assistance in this regard.”

[Cabinet Secretariat] [Saturday, Nov 21, 2015]

Address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the occasion of the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit

[Provisional Translation]

As I begin my remarks, I would like first to express my heartfelt condolences together with all of you to the victims of the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris the other day. And, we, the people of Asia, stand together with the French people, who now face difficulties. I declare a strong solidarity with them.
Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason. It is an assault on our values of desiring peace and prosperity.
The international community will be steadfast in joining together in the fight against terrorism. I am fully determined to firmly send out that clear message here at the East Asia Summit, continuing on from our stance at the G20 and APEC leaders’ meetings.
It is a great honor for me to be able to speak today before up-and-coming businessmen and women who will drive the Malaysian economy and, indeed, the ASEAN economy into the future.
This city of Kuala Lumpur is more than 5,000 km away from Tokyo. For you businessmen and women who do deals the world over, that is just a stone’s throw away. But I finally arrived here after a journey spanning some 24,000 km that took me from Tokyo to Turkey and then Manila for the G20 Summit and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
It won’t be long before I start yearning for Japanese food.
Whether sushi or grilled teppanyaki dishes, we can enjoy delicious Japanese food here in Malaysia as well. I’ve heard that ramen noodles are enormously popular in particular recently. Japan’s famous ramen noodle restaurants are setting up branches here one after another. If any of you have yet to try ramen, I recommend you head to “Tokyo Street” in Bukit Bintang after today’s sessions conclude.

Japan’s delicious ramen boasts a delicately-balanced harmony of soup, noodles, and toppings when it reaches your bowl. But we Japanese don’t bring the Japanese dish to Malaysia as is.
One restaurant has gotten Halal certification. It uses a chicken base for the soup instead of pork bone and tops up the noodles with slices of chicken rather than roasted pork. The ones preparing the meals are Malaysians who have received training. It is thanks to efforts like these that some ramen restaurants are expanding their number of branches here.
We Japanese do not impose ourselves on others. We take a long-term view, cultivating firm roots in a country. We think together, and move forward together, with the local people.
This is how Japan operates. I think you can understand this better by recalling the successes that Japan’s electric appliance and automobile manufacturers have achieved in the countries of ASEAN up until now.

(Cultivating human resources)
By fostering young people here and embracing their strength, Japanese companies have played a role in the industrialization of the countries of ASEAN.
Thirty years ago, a young gentleman named Mr. Yang Cho Leon was one of those young people. After working in physical distribution at Matsushita Sales & Service—now Panasonic Malaysia—for eight years, he participated in the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) training program supported by the Government of Japan, through which he experienced state-of-the-art physical distribution in the Japanese city of Yokohama.
“That provided me with very valuable experience,” Mr. Yang claims, and he has now set up a company here in Malaysia and works supporting the physical distribution of Malaysian marine products.
 Mr. Yang also says he was impressed by the earnest and sincere attitude of the Japanese, and he currently runs a program that gives Malaysian high school students the chance to experience and learn Japanese-style “kaizen”—an approach of continuous improvement.
The experience and know-how of Japanese firms have grown strong roots which are spreading here in the countries of ASEAN, as they are being handed down to Mr. Yang and then to the young people who will shoulder the responsibilities of Malaysia’s next generation.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Japanese companies as well.
People’s tastes vary from country to country. For example, motorbikes on which several people can ride together are popular in Viet Nam, whereas in Thailand sports-type pickup trucks are very much in demand. In designing and then developing highly marketable products for each individual country, the only way forward is to embrace the strength of that country’s young people, who are full of drive and ability.
Today, I express my commitment that over the next three years, Japan will assist as many as 40,000 young people from ASEAN countries, India, and elsewhere around Asia in improving their technical skills and acquiring knowledge.
To that end, I announce our intention to launch efforts to educate and train the next generation of young people who will be leaders in industrial development through establishing new courses at approximately 20 universities in Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Viet Nam, and elsewhere, with the cooperation of Japanese companies.
Furthermore, half of all consumers are women. Women’s unique sensibilities are also essential in developing hit products. In Japan too, it is women who are now driving growth through Abenomics. I wish to expand opportunities for the women of Asia with great potential as well. I will newly establish a fund towards that end.
For Japan, Asia is no longer a recipient of assistance. It is instead our partner for growing together. Japan is committed to stepping up still further its efforts to develop the human resources that will be the driving force for growing together.

(Our partnership in infrastructure)
But our partnership will extend beyond human resources. Japan and Asia will also grow together as partners through finance. Over the next five years, Japan and the ADB will provide Asia with innovative infrastructure financing at a scale of US$110 billion, or 13 trillion yen equivalent.
Over the past 30 years, Japan has provided assistance for developing Thailand’s eastern seaboard industrial estate by building a port and a connection via rail and establishing a road network. What gave rise to “The Detroit of the Orient,” with a concentration of automakers, was Japanese ODA loans totaling some 180 billion yen, which supplied long-term, low-interest capital.
We will make these loans even easier to use going forward. We will press forward in undertaking reforms that will make them even more responsive to the needs of the people of Asia.
Asia is constantly advancing. Its growth tempo accelerates with each passing year. Japan’s ODA loans should not lag behind that speed of change. We will drastically reduce the time needed for going through the procedures for ODA loans by as much as one and a half years compared with the current system.
We will also revise the current practice of requiring without exception recipient governments’ payment guarantees. In cases in which Japanese ODA loans are being provided to local authorities, public corporations, or other such public institutions with ample sufficient commitment by the national government on the recipient’s side, we will not necessarily require a government guarantee. We will fully respond to diverse infrastructure needs by making ODA loans quicker to process and more flexible.
We will also advance our cooperation with the ADB still further. Over the next five years, JICA and the ADB will undertake US$10 billion in co-financing. JICA will make up to US$1.5 billion in investments and loans towards private sector projects over the next five years through a trust fund to be newly established at the ADB.
Moreover, we will not stop at loans, but will also make active equity investments. We will be strengthening the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), including the establishment of new accounts, and make it easier for JBIC to provide risk money.
Asia has infrastructure demand expected to reach as much as 100 trillion yen annually. There is a plan for high-speed rail to connect Malaysia and Singapore totaling more than 1 trillion yen. The large-scale, state-of-the-art coal-fired thermal power station planned for India’s southeast region is a project that will exceed 500 billion yen. In Indonesia too there are plans for liquefied natural gas development at a scale exceeding 1 trillion yen. All of these are important projects that are also incorporated in the plans by ERIA.
Such large projects will all progress concurrently. To this dynamically growing Asia, Japan will actively supply risk money.
The pursuit of short-term profits through only sales without support is not the way Japan conducts itself. Japan also actively takes part in operations, and we bring the entire project to a successful conclusion by making use of the experiences and wisdom we have accumulated. We are committed to sharing the responsibility, not just the return.
Therefore, we will also not spare any effort to share Japan’s sophisticated technologies or know-how, or the reliability of “Made in Japan.”
Coal-fired thermal power stations, now becoming widespread around Asia, will be able to slash energy costs by 40 per cent by using Japanese technology to gasify coal and by also adding fuel cells.
Japan recently decided to obtain equity in a rail project in the United States on the assumption that it would employ the “Shinkansen,” or bullet train, technologies that are the pride of Japan. We would like you all to actively consider making use of Japan’s high-speed and safe Shinkansen technologies.
Phnom Penh’s water supply was until recently only able to deliver 30 per cent of the water originally taken, as a result of water leakage and theft. Japan began participating in operations and now more than 90 per cent is successfully delivered.
We do not impose ourselves on others anywhere. We take a long-term view, cultivating firm roots in a country. We think together, and move forward together, with the local people.
Japan is committed to continue operating this way. Infrastructure with superior economic efficiency, in harmony with the environment, with the utmost energy efficiency, that is also made to last long. We consider such infrastructure to be high quality infrastructure. Together, let’s expand quality infrastructure throughout Asia.

You now stand at an important historical crossroads, as this is the year the ASEAN Economic Community finally comes into being.
Japan, together with such countries as Malaysia, Viet Nam, and Brunei Darussalam, and Singapore, reached agreement in principle in creating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. From this Asia-Pacific region, new economic rules for the 21st century are about to take form.
Moreover, we see movement towards RCEP, an Asia-wide economic integration. Here too we should aim at reaching an ambitious, high-level agreement.
I would like to see a free and fair market where high-quality things are evaluated as such. I believe that is a major key in making the strength of Asia’s growth something that lasts.
Asia’s growth is about to transition to a new stage. That is a new challenge in ensuring lasting growth. I am convinced that 2015 will be a special year in the history of Asia’s economic development.
And, let me share with you my strong belief. The best partner in this new stage will be Japan.
I would ask you all to remember my belief when you eat Japanese ramen that has been refined into a Malaysian style. Let us take on this challenge for lasting growth together.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Friday, Nov 20, 2015]

Japan-Philippines Summit Meeting

On Thursday, November 19, commencing at 8:15 p.m. (local time) for approximately 40 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, in Manila, the Philippines, during his visit to attend the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
Incidentally, after the meeting, exchanges of notes for the yen loan ''North-South Commuter Railway Project'' (Note 1) and the ''Japan-Philippines Social Security Agreement'' (Note 2) were signed in the presence of the two leaders.

1 Opening remarks

Prime Minister Abe mentioned that he has been able to visit the Philippines less than six months after President Aquino's state visit to Japan in June this year, and explained he is very happy that the relationship between Japan and the Philippines will be further strengthened as a result of the mutual visits. He also noted that Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress will visit the Philippines at the beginning of next year, which will serve as an auspicious event marking the start of the 60th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-Philippines relations, and he intends to work closely with the Government of the Philippines to make Their Majesties' visit a success.
President Aquino expressed his intention to advance the Philippines' ''strategic partnership'' with Japan, and explained that he is extremely grateful for the warm hospitality he received during his state visit in June this year. He stated that in return for that, he hopes to work with Japan to provide good hospitality to Their Majesties when they visit the Philippines.

2 Bilateral relations

(1) Politics and security

Prime Minister Abe stated that he is grateful that the Philippine government welcomed t ''Legislation for Peace and Security,'' which was enacted recently, and explained that Japan continues to promote the efforts of ''Proactive Contribution to Peace'' and hopes to further contribute to the peace and stability of the region and international community. Furthermore, he welcomed the agreement in principle reached on the agreement concerning the transfer of defense equipment and technology, which the two sides decided to initiate negotiations in June this year, and explained that he will aim for a prompt signing, as well as accelerate considerations for the realization of equipment cooperation in the maritime security. He also explained that Japan will assist the further enhancement of the capacity of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and will proactively consider the provision of large-scale patrol vessels that was requested by the Government of the Philippines.
President Aquino expressed his respect for Prime Minister Abe's leadership regarding the ''Legislation for Peace and Security,'' along with expressing his expectation of further contributions by Japan to global peace and stability. Regarding the agrrement concerning transfer of defense equipment and technology, he stated that he hopes to move ahead with cooperation toward reaching on an agreement.

(2) Economy and economic cooperation

Prime Minister Abe welcomed progress of the ''Cooperation Roadmap for Quality Infrastructure Development in the Transport Sector in Metropolitan Manila Area,'' which was agreed upon in June this year, and stated that he hopes to begin a comprehensive study on realizing a subway system project following the ''North-South Commuter Railway Project'' (Note 1), in which the two sides were scheduled to sign an exchange of notes after the meeting. He also welcomed the ''Japan-Philippines Social Security Agreement'' (Note 2), which the two sides were scheduled to sign after the meeting, as an agreement that will contribute to the further promotion of economic exchanges.
In response, President Aquino expressed his gratitude for Japan's support for infrastructure development in the Philippines, voiced his expectation of further investment from Japan, and stated that he hopes the ''Japan-Philippines Social Security Agreement'' will enter into force in an early time.
The two sides shared the view that they will mutually endeavor to prepare a structure in both countries within this year for accepting human resources conducting housekeeping services support from the Philippines in Special Economic Zones, in order to begin the program promptly.
In addition, President Aquino expressed the Philippines' interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and Prime Minister Abe welcomed the Philippines' expression of interest. The two sides agreed that they will move ahead with the preparation on a general review of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement.

(3) Mindanao Peace Process

Prime Minister Abe voiced Japan's ongoing support for achieving enduring peace in Mindanao, and announced the decision to support the yen loan ''Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (HARVEST)'' (Note 3), which amounts to approximately 15 billion yen, that will serve to the economic autonomy in the Bangsamoro Area. President Aquino reiterated his gratitude for Japan's support for the Mindanao Peace Process.
3 Regional Affairs (South China Sea)

President Aquino explained that the Philippines is engaging in the Philippines-China arbitration procedure on the South China Sea from the standpoint of promoting the rule of law, and expressed thanks for Japan's support. In response, Prime Minister Abe stated that unilateral actions that change the status quo and heighten tensions, such as large-scale land reclamation and the building of outposts in the South China Sea, are a cause of common concern to the international community, and the international community's coordination is important to preserve open, free and peaceful seas. Furthermore, in regard to the Philippines-China arbitration procedure, which is moving to a new stage, Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan continues to support the peaceful settlement of disputes under international law. President Aquino explained the recent situation regarding Philippines-China relations in the South China Sea.

(Note 1) Yen Loan ''North-South Commuter Railway Project''
A yen loan (amounting to approximately 242 billion yen) project for newly preparing (laying railway tracks, procuring carriages, etc.) a section of approximately 38 kilometers from Malolos City in Bulacan Province in the north to Tutuban in the Metro Manila, which forms part of the ''North-South Railway Project'' that will link suburbs on the North-South axis of Metro Manila with the metropolitan area. The project aims to strengthen the transport network and ease serious traffic congestion in Metro Manila, and contribute to sustainable development, overcoming vulnerability, and a stable life and production base, through the promotion of investments.

(Note 2) ''Japan-Philippines Social Security Agreement'' (
Employees sent from Japan to the Philippines as well as those sent from the Philippines to Japan are currently subject to compulsory coverage under the social security systems of both countries. Under this Agreement, those employees temporarily dispatched for a period of five years or less to the other country will be, in principle, covered only by the pension system of the country from which the employees are dispatched. The Agreement will also enable the establishment of eligibility to receive a pension in each country by totaling the periods of the coverage in both countries. Following two rounds of negotiations between the Governments of Japan and the Philippines on this Agreement, a substantial agreement was reached in August this year.

(Note 3) Yen Loan ''Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation (HARVEST)''
Funding for capital investment, operating capital, etc. (amounting to approximately 14.8 billion yen) will be provided to private-sector companies and agricultural cooperatives in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao and neighboring areas. Through the improvement of the access to finance in the region and vitalization of economic activities, the loan will promote activities that can serve for job creation and livelihood improvement, and will encourage the development and establishment of peace in Mindanao.

[ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Friday, Nov 20, 2015]

Japan-Vietnam Summit Meeting

On Friday, November 20, commencing at 7:45 p.m. (local time) for approximately 75 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Japan-Vietnam working dinner with H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, during his visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Opening Remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abe expressed his delight at having a second summit meeting with Prime Minister Dung this year and stated that he prays for the success of the National Party Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam next year. The Prime Minister also expressed his desire to further strengthen the bilateral relationship with the new leadership based on the “Extensive Strategic Partnership.”

(2) In response, Prime Minister Dung stated that he is delighted to see a close friend of Viet Nam as well as his appreciation for Prime Minister Abe’s prayers for the success of the National Party Congress. Prime Minister Dung also stated that the Japan-Viet Nam relationship was developing in a substantive and effective manner based on high-level exchanges and agreement between the leaders under the bilateral “Extensive Strategic Partnership.” Prime Minister Dung stated that Viet Nam attaches particular importance to strengthening cooperative ties with Japan in all fields.

2. Security

(1) Prime Minister Abe expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Dung’s statement on support and understanding of Japan’s “Proactive Contribution to Peace” and “Legislation for Peace and Security.” The Prime Minister also expressed his satisfaction with the progress of cooperation in the area of maritime security, which is an issue of common interest to both countries. With respect to the used maritime vessels that Japan announced last year it would provide, Prime Minister Abe told Prime Minister Dung that two vessels would arrive in Viet Nam before long, completing the delivery of a total of six vessels, and also that Japan had decided to start an investigation aimed at the provision of newly built patrol vessels. (2) Prime Minister Dung once again expressed his support of Japan’s initiatives for “Proactive Contribution to Peace” and stated that “Proactive Contribution to Peace” is contributing to the peace and stability of the region. In addition, Prime Minister Dung expressed his gratitude for Japan’s provision of used maritime vessels and stated that this cooperation is of important significance for the problem of Viet Nam’s shortages in maritime law-enforcement capabilities and also that he hopes Japan will continue to cooperate, including the provision of official development assistance (ODA) for newly built patrol vessels.
3. General Bilateral Relations

(1) Prime Minister Abe conveyed to Prime Minister Dung the implementation of three Yen loan projects worth approximately 170 billion yen and stated that the Yen loan projects that Japan had decided to implement during the current fiscal year totaled approximately 300 billion yen. In addition, Prime Minister Abe announced the start of a preliminary study aimed at the establishment of faculties for the Japan-Viet Nam University and requested cooperation ahead of the opening of a master’s program next September.

(2) Prime Minister Dung expressed deep gratitude for the cooperation Japan extends to Viet Nam through ODA and promised that the Government of Viet Nam would use Japan’s ODA effectively. In addition, Prime Minister Dung requested the early implementation of ODA that the two countries had previously agreed on and stated that Viet Nam would welcome Japanese investment in the infrastructure field. Prime Minister Dung stated that the Vietnamese people have developed a good impression of Japan through the Vietnamese infrastructure constructed with Japan’s support. Prime Minister Dung also mentioned that he is committed to continuing cooperation regarding the Japan-Viet Nam University, including the early appointment of a university president and establishment of an administrative system.


Additionally, the two leaders also exchanged views on subjects including the situation of the South China Sea, North Korea, climate change, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Monday, Nov 16, 2015]

Japan-Russia Summit Meeting

On November 15, commencing at 8:10 p.m. (local time) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Japan-Russia summit meeting with Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russia Federation, during his visit to Antalya, Turkey, to attend the G20 Summit. The overview is as follows.

1. Opening Remarks

(1) President Putin expressed his hope that following Foreign Minister Kishida’s visit to Russia in September (, the various cooperative ventures and contact between Japan and Russia, including in economic areas, will continue and be further developed, and stated that he is pleased to meet again with Prime Minister Abe this month following their summit meeting in September in New York (

(2) Prime Minister Abe responded that he too is pleased that they are able to coordinate their schedules and meet again, and that he first would like to once again express his condolences for the many Russian citizens who lost their lives in the recent crash of a commercial aircraft in Egypt. Prime Minister Abe commented that recent relations between their two countries has become more active, and welcomed developments such as Foreign Minister Kishida’s visit to Russia, the vice-ministerial level negotiations on concluding a peace treaty, the Eastern Economic Forum, and Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich’s visit to Japan. Prime Minister Abe also expressed his hope to further develop Japan-Russia relations through frequent dialogue.

2. General Japan-Russia Relations

(1) President Putin welcomed the constructive dialogue between Japan and Russia, pointing to the launch of various projects by their two countries and also the holding of the meetings of the Japan-Russia Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Issues, and the Advisory Council on Modernization of Russian Economy. The President also stated that as Japan will become a non-permanent member of the Security Council from 2016, he intends to further cooperate with Japan in the international arena. President Putin explained that preparations to promote cooperation in various fields between Japan and Russia are being made, that inter-regional exchanges and inter-university exchanges are also important, and that the Russian Culture Festival is being continuously held in Japan. On the peace treaty negotiations, President Putin remarked that the second round of vice-ministerial level negotiations held in October were useful discussions in order for each side to understand the perspective of the other and have been very meaningful.

(2) Prime Minister Abe responded that as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Japan will be even more actively addressing the pressing issues for the international community, and that he hopes to communicate closely with Russia. Prime Minister Abe also positively evaluated the steady progress being made in Japan-Russia dialogues and exchanges in a wide range of fields, including on the economy and security, and in cultural and people-to-people exchanges. In economic areas, the Prime Minister noted that meaningful dialogues are being held in fields such as energy saving, the urban environment, medical care, and agriculture, which are areas important to the Russian side as well. Prime Minister Abe also noted that exchanges of relevant parties between Japanese and Russian companies are becoming increasingly active, which is adding momentum to the strengthening of business relations. The Prime Minister expressed his hope that the dialogue with the President would continue based on these accumulated positive cooperative ventures and stated that the discussions between the two leaders in this form are important in order to advance Japan-Russia relations.

(3) President Putin also positively evaluated this idea. With regard to future dialogue, both leaders affirmed that based on the state of preparations, arrangements will be advanced toward President Putin visiting Japan at the most appropriate time, and that they will continue to engage in dialogue at the summit level.

3. The Issue of Concluding the Peace Treaty

Regarding the Northern Territories issues, based on the agreement concluded when Prime Minister Abe visited Russia in April 2013, there was a frank exchange of views between the two leaders toward a solution acceptable to both sides.