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What's up around the Prime Minister

Japan-Austria and 15th Japan-EU Summit Meetings

Monday, April 24, 2006

Photograph of the Japan-Austria Summit Meeting Photograph of Prime Minister Koizumi welcoming Federal Chancellor Schuessel and President of the EU Barroso Photograph of the 15th Japan-EU Summit Meeting
Photograph of the joint press conference Photograph of the reception (chorus by the Vienna Boys' Choir and presentation of kesho mawashi to Kotooshu) Photograph of kesho mawashi presented to Kotooshu

Click photographs to enlarge

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held a meeting with Dr. Wolfgang Schuessel, the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, current holder of the EU presidency, at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.

At the meeting, in commemoration of the year 2009 as the 140th year anniversary of friendly relations between their countries, the two leaders exchanged opinions on ways to forge cooperative relations between the two countries, including deepening exchanges on a number of different fronts such as music, culture, winter sports, and tourism as well as discussing issues, such as the aging of society, which are facing both countries through the Japanese-Austrian Committee for the 21st Century, which is primarily comprised of experts from the private sector.

Prime Minister Koizumi then took part in the 15th Japan-EU Summit Meeting with Federal Chancellor Schuessel and Mr. Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, the President of the European Commission, at the Prime Minister's Residential Quarters.

At the summit meeting, the leaders affirmed that Japan and the EU share fundamental values, such as democracy, human rights, and the market economy. They reviewed the implementation of the Action Plan for Japan-EU Cooperation, adopted in 2001. The leaders then released a joint press statement which set priority actions to be taken by the time of the next Japan-EU Summit Meeting.

After the summit meeting, Prime Minister Koizumi, Federal Chancellor Schuessel, and President Barroso held a joint press conference. At the press conference, Prime Minister Koizumi raised three points important in Japan-EU relations, which are "visible cooperation and strengthening of agreement and cooperation in the areas of nuclear energy and customs," "the importance of strategic dialogues and their enhancement," and "expansion of people-to-people exchanges." In regards to people-to-people exchanges in particular, Prime Minister Koizumi said, "Japan would like to accept 4,000 young people from the EU as its yearly goal."

Afterwards, by way of reception a chorus was performed by the Vienna Boys' Choir. Also, as a symbol of Japan-EU friendship through Japan's national sport of sumo, a kesho mawashi (belt worn by sumo wrestlers indicating rank) emblazoned with the character for "Europe" and 12 stars was presented to Bulgaria-born Kotooshu, who was promoted to the rank of ozeki. The Japanese and EU leaders continued their exchange of opinions regarding issues such as the international situation over dinner.

Related Links:
-FRamework Initiative for Exchange Networks and Dialogues: FRIEND
-Japan-Austria Joint Press Statement on the Occasion of the Visit by Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel of the Republic of Austria to Japan

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