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Last Update : Monday, Apr 11, 2016

JapanGov Weekly

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Friday, Apr 1, 2016]

Outline of the Remarks by Prime Minister Abe at the Opening Session of the Nuclear Security Summit

In the morning of April 1 (EST), Prime Minister Abe made his remarks at the Opening Session of the Nuclear Security Summit as outlined below.

1. Nuclear Security in Japan is closely linked to the severe accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for the warm support we have received from all over the world. We are determined for such a nuclear power plant accident never to repeat again. With this firm resolve, we have once again started to walk down the path to lead in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

2. Based on our experience of this severe accident, Japan developed new regulatory requirements, which are the most stringent in the world. It is Japan's mission to share the lessons learned with all countries in order to expand the safety of nuclear power plants and the knowledge of counter measures in the case of an accident. Japan actively continues to engage in human resource development, assistance to other countries, and international cooperation on safety standards.

3. It is necessary to ensure complete transparency in order to continue the peaceful use of nuclear energy into the future, while many nuclear power plants are being built these days. Japan continuously strives to lead the world in enhancing the transparency of civil nuclear energy in the world. I would like to call on each country to make further efforts.

4. Non-proliferation efforts through enhancing nuclear safety and ensuring transparency cannot be achieved without the cooperation of all nuclear user countries. I urge everyone here to continue to deepen the discussion at the IAEA and other international frameworks and take concrete actions.

5. With regard to the appropriate management of plutonium, Japan implements the policy of ''not possessing plutonium reserves for which the purpose of utilization is unspecified.'' As the result of the close cooperation between Japan and the United States, we have completed the removal of all highly-enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium fuels from the Fast Critical Assembly (FCA) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), which was pledged at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, accomplished on an accelerated timeline well ahead of schedule.

6. As an additional commitment, I decided to convert the Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA) from HEU to LEU fuel and to remove all HEU fuel. Japan releases our commitments to contributing to the enhancement of nuclear security of the world as the message to the international society in Japan-US Joint Statement.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Friday, Apr 1, 2016]

Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting

On March 31st, commencing at 12:07 p.m. (April 1st 1:07 a.m. Tokyo time) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting Washington D.C., and Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States, held a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1 G7 Ise-Shima Summit

President Obama expressed appreciation for Prime Minister Abe's preparations as the G7 chair, and he stated that the United States supports the agenda items set by Japan, and expressed his hope that Japan exercises leadership at the G7 meeting. In response, Prime Minister Abe, as the chair for the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, stated that the global economy and terrorism are the primary themes and that Japan particularly hopes to send a clear message of contributing to sustainable growth of the global economy. The two leaders agreed on the importance of exploring possibilities for economic growth towards the G7 Ise-Shima Summit.
2 Japan-U.S. Security Alliance

Concerning the lawsuits on the Henoko landfill permit, Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan's position remains unwavering that the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to Henoko is the only solution and he decided to accept a court-suggested settlement under the philosophy of ''haste is waste.'' Prime Minister Abe also stated that he would like to realize the return of MCAS Futenma through the completion of the relocation to Henoko at the earliest possible time and would like to continue joint efforts to mitigate the impact on Okinawa. In response, President Obama stated that he understands the court-suggested settlement on the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko as Prime Minister Abe's strategic decision, and said that the United States would like to continue its efforts through close cooperation.

3 Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Obama stated that the United States is pursuing approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as the top priority item in Congress, and the two leaders agreed that they intend to continue working together for the early entry into force of the TPP Agreement.

4 Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

Prime Minister Abe expressed gratitude for publicly stating the Government of the United States' consistent support for the agreement reached between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the end of last year. In response, President Obama reaffirmed the support for the Japan-ROK agreement.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Saturday, Apr 2, 2016]

Japan-India Summit Meeting

1. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is visiting Washington D.C. to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India on Friday, April 1, from 4:40 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (this was the sixth meeting between the two leaders).

2. In the opening remarks, Prime Minster Abe expressed his condolences to the victims of the overpass collapse at Kolkata and his appreciation to Prime Minister Modi for the warm reception during his visit to India in December 2015. Prime Minister Abe also noted that the Indian economy, which is steadily developing under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, is a driver of global growth, and that Japan would like to work closely with India in light of the need for policy coordination among major countries in order to realize sustainable and strong growth, amid growing uncertainty in the global economy.

In response, Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Abe’s comments and took his pride in the success of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India including Varanasi in December 2015.

3. The two leaders exchanged their opinions on strengthening the bilateral relationship and had a frank discussion aimed at further reinforcement of cooperation in dealing with regional affairs and international issues in order to steadily keep tracking the outcome of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India in December 2015 that marked the “new era in Japan-India relations,” and to lead to achievement for the visit by Prime Minister Modi to Japan planned to take place within this year.

4. Regarding the fight against terrorism, Prime Minister Abe stated that he feels great shock and anger at the terror attacks in Brussels and Lahore and strongly condemns vicious terrorism, and that Japan, as the G7 Presidency, is taking assertive actions to strengthen measures to deal with terrorism and violent extremism. Prime Minister Modi expressed his expectations for initiatives by G7 against terrorism and indicated the importance of firmly dealing with specific terrorism cases.

5. Regarding the affairs in the East China Sea and South China Sea, Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan has serious concerns about unilateral actions which change the status quo and raise tensions in the East China Sea and South China Sea. Prime Minister Modi replied that responses in accordance with international law are needed to be taken in international society with growing interdependence, and that India supports Japan’s positon on this matter.

6. Regarding disarmament and non-proliferation, Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan would like to work with India to achieve a “world without nuclear weapons,” and that initiatives of India’s disarmament and non-proliferation are important for nuclear cooperation. He also noted that Japan attaches importance to the universalization of Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the prompt entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the prompt commencement of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT), and intends to continue dialogue on these issues.

7. Finally, the two leaders shared their views on the need for Japan and India to cooperate and take initiatives toward peace and prosperity in Asia and the world, and Prime Minister Abe noted that he is looking forward to the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Modi this year.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Saturday, Apr 2, 2016]

Japan-Argentina Summit Meeting

On Friday, April 1, from 3:18 p.m. to 3:42 p.m. (local time), Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who is currently in Washington DC to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Mauricio Macri, President of the Argentine Republic. The overview from the meeting is as follows.
1 Opening remarks

(1) Prime Minister Abe congratulated President Macri on his inauguration and formation of a new government, and explained that Japan supports and has expectations for the open, free economic policy adopted right after President Macri took office and Argentina's return to the international economy and global stage.

(2) President Macri commented that the two countries have an important relationship with a long history and shared values and expressed his hope for the meeting to strengthen relations between the two countries.
2 Bilateral political relationship

(1) The two leaders agreed to promote high-level dialogue and visits between the two countries.

(2) The two leaders agreed to resume policy discussions at the senior official level aimed at achieving closer cooperation in dealing with regional and international issues.
3 Bilateral economic relationship

(1) The two leaders confirmed the importance of the Japan-Argentina Joint Committee on the Economy as a forum for dialogue by business communities in the two countries amid high expectations that Japanese companies have for Argentina's economic potential. The two leaders also agreed to create a discussion framework led by the two Governments which includes participation by the business world and thereby promotes investment, trade developments, and efforts to improve the business environment.

(2) Prime Minister Abe expressed his hope for President Macri to exercise leadership in making the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) an entity that is open to non-regional parties and has interest in stimulating dialogue between Japan and Mercosur.
4 Cooperation in international affairs

The two leaders exchanged opinions on terrorism, the situation in North Korea, and other topics and confirmed their cooperation toward the achievement of regional peace and stability. Prime Minister Abe explained the policy of ''Proactive Contribution to Peace,'' which is based on Japan's international cooperation, as well as Japan's ''Legislation for Peace and Security'' initiatives, and President Macri commented that Argentina intends to cooperate with Japan in all areas related to international peace.

[Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] [Saturday, Apr 2, 2016]

Japan-Jordan Summit Meeting

On Friday, April 1, commencing from 12:06 pm (local time) for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in the United States, during his visit to attend the Nuclear Security Summit. The overview of the meeting is as follows.
1 Bilateral relations

(1) General

At the beginning, King Abdullah welcomed the opportunity to meet again, expressed his gratitude for Japan's excellent assistance, and mentioned the productive consultations between the two countries in a variety of fields. In response, Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan's steadfast support for Jordan's efforts to uphold stability in the Middle East amid difficult circumstances, including the crisis in Syria, the refugee issue, and the ISIL. In addition, the two leaders agreed to further enhance cooperation in a wide range of fields.

(2) Economic cooperation

Prime Minister Abe explained that, in order to support Jordan as a cornerstone of regional stability, Japan decided to extend approximately 350 million dollars of assistance as refugee aid, including approximately 65 million dollars to Jordan, in February 2016, and to extend grant aid totaling approximately 17 million dollars for the provision of Japanese products for waste disposal and water-related areas in March 2016.

In response, King Abdullah once again expressed his gratitude for Japan's unwavering assistance, including the water-related aid mentioned by Prime Minister Abe.
2 Regional affairs

The two leaders exchanged their opinions on the current state of the Middle East and North Africa, including Syria and the Middle East Peace Process, and agreed to continue the close cooperation between Japan and Jordan.