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Last Update : Monday, Dec 26, 2016

JapanGov Weekly

Cabinet Secretariat [Friday, December 16, 2016]

Japan-Russia Summit Meeting and Other Events: Second Day

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a summit meeting and other events with H.E. Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, at the Prime Minister's Office.

First, the two leaders attended a guard of honor ceremony and then held a summit meeting (working lunch). Following this, the leaders attended an exchange of documents and held a joint press conference at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.

Later, both leaders attended the Japan-Russia Business Dialogue held in Tokyo and delivered speeches. Afterwards, the leaders visited the Kodokan Judo Institute.

Cabinet Secretariat [Monday, December 19, 2016]

Commemorative Ceremony of the 60th Anniversary of Japan's Accession to the United Nations

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the Commemorative Ceremony of the 60th Anniversary of Japan's Accession to the United Nations in Tokyo in the presence of Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

The Prime Minister said in his congratulatory address,

“I am extremely honored to have been given the opportunity to offer a congratulatory address on the occasion of the Commemorative Ceremony of the 60th Anniversary of Japan's Accession to the United Nations, which is being held in the presence of Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and attended by so many people, including Dr. Genshitsu Sen, President of the United Nations Association of Japan.

On December 18, sixty years ago, Japan acceded to the United Nations. I would like to once again reflect on the tremendous joy and gratitude that the Japanese people felt on that day.

It was the hope of the Japanese people to see Japan contribute to global peace and prosperity as a member of the international community that prompted Japan to join the United Nations. Ever since then, Japan has been exerting every effort in fields that constitute the main pillars of the United Nations’ activities, including peace, refugees, and development. Japanese personnel dispatched to UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs) have worked to maintain peace in various countries and regions including Cambodia, Timor-Leste, and South Sudan. I would like to reiterate my respect for the efforts of Mr. Yasushi Akashi, who is in attendance today, to consolidate peace as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Cambodia and former Yugoslavia.

Japan has also played a positive role for the support of refugees through activities ranging from emergency humanitarian assistance to reconstruction and development support. I would also like to again express my respect for Ms. Sadako Ogata, who is with us today, for leading efforts as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to champion human security and the need to pay attention to realities on the ground, and to solve refugee issues.

In addition, over the past 30 years, Japan has made the second largest amount of financial contributions to the United Nations, second only to the United States. We have contributed over 20 billion US dollars to the United Nations regular budget and PKO budget. We are very proud of these positive contributions.

Currently, Japan is serving as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 11th time, more than any other member state. I believe that this illustrates the strong expectation for as well as recognition of Japan’s contributions. As the international environment evolves rapidly, the United Nations is an important platform that allows Japan to respond to various issues in collaboration with the international community. In line with the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, Japan is resolved to positively contributing even more in the future, in fields such as PKOs and human security.

Japan’s new legal framework that allows us to make an even more active contribution to the United Nations PKOs is also a part of this determination. Approximately 350 Self-Defense Force personnel are currently engaged in South Sudan to help promote stability and nation-building. This involves cooperating face-to-face with local people, sharing our expertise, and working together on the ground. I want Japan to continue to make positive contributions in the future.

The United Nations is also a forum for Japan to promote human security. Under the philosophy of human security, societies that can realize the vast potential of each and every individual are considered to be the cornerstone of peace. Efforts to enlarge access to education and healthcare that place importance on individuals, as well as support for women, represent this idea put into practice.

Last year, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Japan launched its own SDGs Promotion Headquarters, and is leading efforts to realize the domestic implementation of and international cooperation for these goals.

There is no end to the efforts to realize a better future. Reform of the United Nations is important for the organ to respond to the changing and complicated challenges of the international community. Security Council reform is a particularly urgent issue. Japan will continue to endeavor for the realization of Security Council reform and will fulfill an even greater responsibility as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.

Next January marks a new start for the United Nations under the leadership of the new Secretary-General António Guterres. Together with the new Secretary-General, Japan will continue to exercise leadership in order to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the international community.

I would like to close my congratulatory address as the representative of the Japanese Government on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Japan's accession to the United Nations by expressing my heartfelt congratulations and my hope for the continued development of cooperation between Japan and the United Nations.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Friday, December 16, 2016]

Assuming the Japanese honorary president for the “150th Anniversary of the Japan-Denmark Diplomatic Relations” by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan

1. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Denmark in 2017, both countries will organize a variety of events to celebrate the year as the “150th Anniversary of the Japan-Denmark Diplomatic Relations”. Given the importance of the relationship between the two countries and the significance of these memorial events, His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan will assume the honorary president on the Japanese side for this Anniversary. The presidency will be from the 1st of January 2017 to the 31st of December 2017. On the Danish side, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Frederik of the Kingdom of Denmark will assume the honorary presidency.

2. The Outline of the “150th Anniversary of Japan-Denmark Diplomatic Relations” is as follows.>

(1) The year 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Denmark (the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation was signed on the 12th of January 1867). In March 2014, the leader of both countries agreed in their summit meeting to further strengthen the bilateral relations taking advantage of this memorial year.

(2) To celebrate the 150th anniversary, both private and public sectors are currently planning to organize memorial events in a wide range of areas including politics, economy, culture and education. Through these events, it is expected that Japan and Denmark will deepen their mutual understanding, which will lead to further enhancement of their bilateral ties.