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Last Update : Monday, Nov 14, 2016

JapanGov Weekly

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan [Friday, Nov 11, 2016]

JET Programme 30th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony

On November 7, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) held “JET Programme 30th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony at Keio Plaza Hotel, Shinjuku, having the attendance by Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess. About 800 participants from local governments, relevant education related authorities, diplomatic corps in Japan, active JET participants and JET alumni attended the ceremony.
In the ceremony, His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince stated address. Foreign Minister Kishida noted in his speech that many former JET participants joined voluntary JET Alumni Association (JETAA) chapters after returning to their home countries, and continued to share their love and knowledge of Japanese culture, and that they volunteered to take part in JET recruiting as well. The Minister also announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would strive to continue promoting the JET Programme.
The ceremony also included the presentation of the JET Declaration by representatives of active JET participants and JET alumni, commemorative speeches by Jamaican Ambassador H.E. Ricardo Allicock and Canadian Ambassador H.E. Ian Burney, presentations on the activities of JET Programme participants, and JET Programme video contest award ceremony.

[Reference] JET Programme
JET Programme stands for Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. This program is operated through a partnership between the Ministries and local governments of Japan, and invites young people around the world to provide them with opportunities to teach languages, sports, etc., in elementary, junior-high and high schools in Japan, and to work in local governments in order to promote international exchange in local communities.

Cabinet Secretariat [Monday, Nov 7, 2016]

Japan-Kazakhstan Summit Meeting and Other Events

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a summit meeting and other events with H.E. Mr. Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The two leaders attended a salute and ceremony by the guard of honor and then held a summit meeting. After that, the leaders attended a signing ceremony and held a joint press announcement.

Lastly, the Prime Minister hosted a dinner banquet at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence and said the following in his address,

“I would like to once again welcome President Nazarbayev to Japan. It is a pleasure to be able to welcome you to Japan on this important milestone year of the 25th anniversary of the independence of Kazakhstan.

In our meeting earlier, we had extensive exchanges of views. This evening, I would like you all to relax and enjoy Japanese cuisine to your heart’s content.

When I visited Kazakhstan in October of last year, the President took a look at the delegation of both countries and stated, ‘I cannot really tell who is Kazakh and who is Japanese.’

Seeing all of you in front of me now, I am in complete agreement. In addition to our appearance, we have many similarities, such as our respect for our countries’ history and traditions, esteem towards our elders, hospitality, and spirit of valuing peace and harmony.

During my visit to Kazakhstan, following our lunch, on a whim President Nazarbayev kindly took me to the opera house and I was able to watch an act of a beautiful ballet performance.

In return for that, today, I wanted to show you a performance of the Japanese drum group TAO. The group incorporates modern elements while still using traditional percussion instruments. I believe you were able to see the diverse attractions and feel the excitement of Japanese culture.

Over these 25 years, Kazakhstan achieved remarkable growth under the leadership of President Nazarbayev. From next year, Kazakhstan will become the first Central Asian country to serve as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. As this demonstrates, I am convinced that your country, as a responsible power of the international community, and Japan will advance their cooperation at even higher levels over the next 25 years.

We have invited to today’s dinner banquet leaders who are active in a range of areas, including politics, the economy, art and science, and culture.

Thanks to all of you, the relationship between Japan and Kazakhstan is what it is today. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation and ask for your continued support for the further deepening of the relationship.

On this occasion of President Nazarbayev’s visit to Japan, I would now like to raise a toast for the further strengthening of friendly and cooperative ties that connect Japan and Kazakhstan. Thank you.”

Photograph of the leaders shaking hands Photograph of the salute and the guard of honor

Cabinet Secretariat [Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016]

Meeting with the State Counsellor of Myanmar and Other Events

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting and other events with H.E. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, at Akasaka Palace State Guest House.

First, the two leaders received a salute and attended a ceremony by the guard of honor and then held a meeting, followed by a signing ceremony and a joint press announcement.

Lastly, the Prime Minister hosted a dinner banquet where, in his address, he made the following remarks.

“I am delighted that H.E. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, who for many years has been an indomitable leader of democratization, is now visiting Japan as a leader of the Government of Myanmar.

This year Myanmar experienced a major political shift that will leave its mark on history. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said that “an era of determined hope” has come. I would like Japan to continue to be a trusted partner of Myanmar in this era of hope, and also its strongest supporter.

In our meeting earlier, we had a fulfilling exchange of views. This evening, I would like you all to relax and enjoy to your heart’s content the Japanese cuisine.

The peoples of Japan and Myanmar have many things in common. I am sure that many of you in attendance here tonight will agree that one of these commonalities is the national characteristic of consideration for others.

I have heard that in the Myanmar language, there is a word “ah-nah-deh”which expresses the feeling of consideration for others. I have been told that Japanese people feel a deep sense of solace when they hear this word said by a person from Myanmar. I believe that this is an example of how the peoples of Japan and Myanmar are emotionally connected at a deep level.

State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and I have another thing in common. Both of us were born on a Tuesday. According to the zodiac of Myanmar, those born on a Tuesday are said to be as enthusiasm as a lion. I would like us to be true friends who are enthusiastically involved in building the country of Myanmar, while maintaining our consideration for others.

We have invited to this evening’s banquet leaders from many different places, all of whom are supporting the invaluable friendship between our two countries in a variety of different fields. It is thanks to all of your support that the wonderful relationship between Myanmar and Japan exists today. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to all of you, and my hope that you will continue to work with us toward the further development of this relationship.

I would now like to raise a toast to the health and happiness of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and everyone here, and for the further development of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of Japan and Myanmar. Thank you.”

Photograph of the Prime Minister shaking hands with the State Counsellor of Myanmar Photograph of the salute and the guard of honor

Cabinet Secretariat [Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016]

Statement by the Prime Minister on the acceptance of the Paris Agreement

Japan has decided to accept the Paris Agreement today. This Agreement is the first of its kind applicable to all Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and establishes a fair and effective framework to address climate change. Japan has been advocating throughout the climate negotiations that all countries must take part in the new framework. Japan’s vision is now realized in the Paris Agreement. Japan will submit its instrument of acceptance to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on November 8.

Climate change is a long-term global agenda item that needs to be addressed by the whole of the international community. The world has set a new start for resolving this challenging problem, and it is critical that all countries steadily reduce their greenhouse gas emissions based on the Paris Agreement. The negotiations concerning the detailed implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement will start in full force. Japan is determined to play a central role in the negotiations of such rule-making so that the transparency of emission reduction by countries will be enhanced, thus achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Japan will spare no effort in tackling the issue of global warming. My Cabinet will make global warming countermeasures a task of the highest priority. The Cabinet decided the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures this May which clarifies its strategic measures for climate change, with a view to implementing the long term goal set forth by the Paris Agreement. The Plan also paved the way for Japan’s own national target of reducing greenhouse gas emission by 26% by fiscal year 2030. Japan will continue to work towards emission reduction at the national level by expanding a nationwide movement to reduce its emissions and to steadily achieve its goal. At the same time, Japan will proactively pursue the development of innovative technologies in the fields of the environment and energy so as to enable emission reduction without sacrificing economic growth. Japan will also utilize its environmental technology and experiences and steadily implement its commitment of implementing climate change-related assistance at the scale of 1.3 trillion yen in 2020 in developing countries, and will contribute to emission reduction worldwide.

Japan holds a tradition of living in harmony with nature and is equipped with world-class technology with which it overcame the previous oil crises. I would like to refine the strengths of our nation by maintaining the originality and inventive work promoted by both the public and private sectors so that Japan can continue to play a leading role in international efforts to address climate change and can fulfill our shared responsibility to safely hand our sole planet down to the generations of our children and grandchildren.

Cabinet Secretariat [Wednesday, Nov 9, 2016]

Congratulatory Message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Mr. Donald Trump, President-elect of the United States

Dear President-elect Trump,

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations on your election as the next President of the United States of America. As a very successful businessman with extraordinary talents, not only you made a great contribution to the growth of the US economy, but now as a strong leader, you have demonstrated your determination to lead the United States.

The stability of the Asia-Pacific region, which is a driving force of the global economy, brings peace and prosperity to the United States. Japan and the United States are unwavering allies tied firmly with the bond of universal values such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law.

I very much look forward to closely cooperating with you to further strengthen the bond of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, as well as for our two countries to play leading roles for assuring peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

In the 21st Century, the Japan-U.S. alliance serves as an ‘Alliance of Hope,’ which contributes to addressing the challenges the international community faces. I intend to work with you hand-in-hand to address the various challenges the world confronts.

I sincerely wish you all the best and success.