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JapanGov Weekly

Monday, November 12, 2018

Ceremony to Commemorate the Launch of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System “Michibiki” Service

Cabinet Secretariat, Thursday, November 1, 2018

[Provisional Translation]

On November 1, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the ceremony to commemorate the launch of the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) “Michibiki” Service, held in Tokyo.

The Prime Minister said in his congratulatory address,

“The long-awaited Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) ‘Michibiki’ positioning service has finally been launched today.

It has been 40 years since the United States first launched its positioning satellites, the Global Positioning System (GPS), into orbit. GPS is an integral part of our lives, including for car navigation systems and mapping apps.

Today, thanks to ‘Michibiki (meaning ‘guidance’ in Japanese),’ a new page in history is being opened. This world-first satellite positioning service with centimeter-level accuracy will lead the way to the society of the near future.

From outer space to the Earth. Automated tractors will surely enhance the productivity of the agricultural industry, with high precision that enables the planting of seedlings in a straight line with minimal space between them. These automated tractors would then work day and night, in the rain and wind, without rest.

Drone-based home delivery services will likely change the nature of logistics fundamentally. Goods will be delivered accurately, door-to-door, in even the most crowded residential areas, at the desired time and regardless of traffic.

As its name suggests, ‘Michibiki’ will guide us to Society 5.0, the society of the future. There are high hopes for the ever greater use of this satellite system in a wide range of fields. The Government aims to expand the system to a seven-satellite constellation by FY2023, with the goal of achieving an even more stable positioning service.

More than 10 years have passed since its conception. I am sure that taking on this challenge, the first of its kind in the world, must have required much hard work. I would like to express my utmost respect for the efforts of the engineers responsible for the development and all those involved with this project.

To what degree will the ‘Michibiki’ change our lives? I hope to follow its progress with great excitement, together with you all. With that, I would like to conclude my address.”


Japan-Malaysia Summit Meeting and Other Events

Cabinet Secretariat, Tuesday, November 6, 2018

[Provisional Translation]

On November 6, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit meeting and other events with H.E. Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The two leaders attended a salute and guard of honor ceremony, followed by a summit meeting. Afterwards, the leaders held a joint press announcement.


Courtesy Call from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey

Cabinet Secretariat, Tuesday, November 6, 2018

[Provisional Translation]

On November 6, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a courtesy call from H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, at the Prime Minister’s Office.


Courtesy Call from Representatives of the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program and Others

Cabinet Secretariat, Wednesday, October 31, 2018

[Provisional Translation]

On October 31, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a courtesy call from representatives participating in the Ship for Southeast Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP) and others, at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Prime Minister said in his opening address,

“I would like to sincerely welcome all of you to Japan who have come as the representatives of the countries participating in the 45th SSEAYP.

Since I became Prime Minister, I have visited all ten of your countries. Even now, I remember and am grateful for the warm hospitality in all the places I visited. ASEAN celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and I anticipate that ASEAN will continue to lead regional stability and prosperity as a partner with which Japan shares fundamental values.

On October 9, I welcomed the leaders of five countries to Tokyo: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. We held the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting on that occasion, and agreed to deepen people-to-people exchanges in various fields.

It is people who will carve out the future, and this rests on the capabilities of young people in particular. SSEAYP is one of the cooperation programs that attaches importance to people. More than 12,000 young people have participated in this program so far. Building on this experience, they are currently fulfilling active roles in their respective fields.

During the Program, you will likely make many new friends from countries with different histories, cultures, and values through homestays in the countries you visit, as well as through the time you share living on the ship. I hope that you will foster close bonds by having extensive conversations with one another, learning about the wonderful qualities of each other’s countries, and affirming your pride in the country where you were born and raised.

I hope that you will cherish the friendships you cultivate on this ship and continue to take advantage of this network in the future. I look forward to your great success.”


Meeting with the President of Micronesia and Others

Cabinet Secretariat, Friday, November 2, 2018

[Provisional Translation]

On November 2, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Peter Martin Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, and others, at the Diet.


Courtesy Call from the Director-General of the WTO

Cabinet Secretariat, Thursday, November 8, 2018

[Provisional Translation]

On November 8, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a courtesy call from Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), at the Prime Minister's Office.


Japan-India Summit Meeting

Foreign Affairs, Thursday, November 8, 2018

On Monday, October 29, from 6:10 p.m. to 7:20 p.m., Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Japan-India Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. The overview of the meeting is as follows. After the meeting, the two leaders signed a Japan-India Vision Statement (Fact Sheet).

(Reference)List of agreements including MOU/MOC between Japan and India taking the opportunity of the visit

1 Beginning
Prime Minister Abe stated that the annual reciprocal visits are the driving force of the rapidly-advancing Japan-India relationship, expressed the view that a strong India benefits Japan and a strong Japan benefits India, and explained that the Japan-India relationship is blessed with the greatest potential for development of any bilateral relationship in the world. Prime Minister Abe explained that together with Prime Minister Modi, he hopes to ensure that this bilateral relationship produces results on all fronts and contributes to the peace and prosperity of the region and the world.

In response, Prime Minister Modi explained that he was inspired by the Japanese side's welcome, stated that he will never forget being invited to Prime Minister Abe's country house, and expressed the view that a strong India and strong Japan will be able to fulfill roles for Asia and for the world. Prime Minister Modi stated that he hopes to broaden the historical bilateral relationship into new areas and strengthen exchanges.

2 Security
Prime Minister Abe welcomed the launching of a "2 + 2" Ministerial Meeting, and explained that Japan and India will move forward with cooperative projects in Bangladesh and elsewhere in order to increase regional connectivity. Prime Minister Abe welcomed the steady progress being made with cooperation, including the commencement of negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), the creation of an implementing arrangement for deeper cooperation between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy, the strengthening of exchanges among all the armed forces, and the establishment of a Japan-India Space Dialogue.

Prime Minister Modi stated that cooperation in the security field is progressing, appreciated the launching of "2 + 2" Ministerial Meeting and progress with cooperation among the armed forces, and expressed the view that maritime and space cooperation will be important in the future, while mentioning the commencement of the ACSA negotiations, the Japan-India Space Dialogue, and defense equipment cooperation.

The two leaders shared the view that the two countries will continue to discuss US-2 amphibian aircraft.

3 Economic cooperation, high-speed rail
Prime Minister Abe welcomed the steady progress with high-speed rail, including a new yen loan, stated that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) technical cooperation is currently being implemented in order to contribute to rail safety on India's existing lines, and explained that Japan has decided on seven yen loans, including for the construction of a bridge in India's North Eastern region that will contribute to high-speed rail and stronger connectivity.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed progress with the high-speed rail project, and expressed gratitude for Japan's cooperation. Prime Minister Modi explained that India's citizens highly appreciate and are grateful for Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA), including yen loans.

4 Economic relations
Prime Minister Abe mentioned the agreement to conclude a Bilateral Swap Agreement, and explained that he intends to move ahead with promoting start-ups and exchanges of IT personnel under the Japan-India Digital Partnership, coordinating the India longevity plan and Japan's Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative, cooperating in the field of agriculture including food processing, opening new Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing (JIMs), promoting investment through the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), and cooperating in the energy field including the agreement of the Japan-India Energy Transition Cooperation Plan.

Prime Minister Modi welcomed that Japanese companies are investing and setting up businesses in India, and are contributing to 'Make in India', and he explained that India is attaching importance to cooperation with Japan in the fields of IT, energy, health and agriculture, and intends to realize cooperation.

With regard to Japan-India civil nuclear cooperation, the two leaders shared the view that discussions will continue to be held in a working group, based on agreement last year.

5 People-to-people exchanges
Prime Minister Abe stated that he hoped to fundamentally expand people-to-people exchanges in the fields of tourism, business and sports and between experts, regional governments and Diet members among others in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and noted that Japan has decided to further ease visa requirements for nationals of India from January next year. Prime Minister Abe expressed gratitude for cooperation with setting up the Japanese Language Teachers' Training Center in Delhi, and explained that he hopes to continue to secure Prime Minister Modi's cooperation towards popularizing the Japanese language.

Prime Minister Modi expressed approval for expanding people-to-people exchanges, and welcomed the easing of visa requirements.

6 Global challenges
(1) International Solar Alliance (ISA)
Prime Minister Abe explained that Japan has decided to accept the Framework Agreement on the establishment of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) led by India and hopes to coordinate more closely on strengthening international efforts for energy transitions and decarbonization. Prime Minister Modi welcomed Japan's acceptance of the framework agreement.
(2) United Nations (UN) reform
The two leaders shared the view to accelerate the G4's efforts to achieve concrete progress with UN Security Council (UNSC) reform.
(3) Disarmament and nonproliferation
Prime Minister Abe expressed the view that Japan and India share the goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons, and explained that Japan attaches importance to the universalization of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and the prompt entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and intends to continue to hold dialogue.
Prime Minister Modi acknowledged that aiming for a world without nuclear weapons is a common goal.
(4) Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), World Trade Organization (WTO)
Prime Minister Abe stated that amid mounting concerns about protectionism, he will have Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation of India, work solidly in order to realize a substantial conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations this year by the 16 countries including India, towards the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe stated that WTO reform is important in order to maintain and strengthen the multilateral trading system.
Prime Minister Modi stated that he also intends to cooperate well on the RCEP.
(5) Ship recycling
Prime Minister Abe expressed expectation towards India's early conclusion of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.


Council on Investments for the Future

Cabinet Secretariat, Tuesday, November 6, 2018

[Provisional Translation]

On November 6, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the 21st meeting of the Council on Investments for the Future at the Prime Minister’s Office.

At the meeting, a discussion was held on regional policy measures.

Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said,

“Today, we held a discussion regarding regional policy measures with a focus on the issues of business integration, such as for local banks and fixed route buses.

Local banks and fixed route buses, among other businesses, provide services that are indispensable to local residents, and the maintenance of such services is an issue of national importance. Therefore, it is our challenge to consolidate business management, such as local banks and fixed route bus companies, which are facing deterioration in their respective business environment. It is critical to take into consideration the maintenance of local infrastructure and the prevention of the harmful effects of competition policy in a well-balanced manner and make decisions in the application of the Antimonopoly Act. With the maintenance of services in the regions as the premise, I will emphasize this once again as this is the important point; based on the premise of maintaining services in the regions, when considering the integration of businesses such as local banks and fixed route buses, I would like to consider creating a framework to make such business integration possible, or establishing transparent rules in order to enable decision-making with predictability. I would like to ask you to carry out necessary considerations over this issue, including those with experts, and report to this council. We will incorporate the outcome of the review into the implementation plan that will be decided on by summer next year.

Furthermore, in order to address the shortage of human resources in the regions, we will secure diverse human resources who support local economies, by strengthening measures to accelerate the trend of young people and others to relocate to these regions, create an environment to generate U-turns (from their hometown in a local district to a city and back), I-turns (from their hometown in a local district to a different local district) and J-turns (from their hometown in a local district to a nearby city), mechanisms to increase diverse types of individuals including middle-aged and elderly workers with rich practical experience so as to enhance regional vitality. We will also advance the development of frameworks aimed at revitalizing regions that are experiencing rapidly declining populations. Furthermore, I would like you to consider concrete measures to address issues such as improving the productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises, including manufacturing companies, which support the local economies, and resolving the issues that central and core cities are facing.

I would like to ask Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Motegi, Minister in charge of Regional Revitalization Katayama, and the relevant ministers to move forward on consideration based on the today’s opinions for the implementation plan by next summer.”


Working Dinner between Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, WTO

Foreign Affairs, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

 On November 7, commencing at around 7:10 p.m. for approximately 70 minutes, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a working dinner with Mr. Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), who is visiting Japan. The overview is as follows.

 Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, stated that, given unprecedented challenges surrounding international trade, it is imperative to uphold and promote free, open, and rules-based trade in the world, and the true value of the multilateral trading system is tested. Mr. Taro Kono also stated that Japan was determined to play a leading role in the multilateral trading system through its efforts addressing reform of the WTO, in close cooperation with the WTO.

 In response, concerning the current situation surrounding world trade, Director-General Azevêdo expressed his appreciation for the role that Japan has been playing in upholding and enhancing the multilateral trading system. Director-General Azevêdo also stated that the WTO will further intensify cooperation with Japan.