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Diplomatic Relations

Japan-Laos Summit Meeting (Overview)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, on November 4 for approximately 30 minutes from 6:15 p.m. (local time) at a guest room in the VIP ward at Vientiane International Airport during his official visit to Laos. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the onset of the meeting, Prime Minister Thongsing said the friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries had reached a high level, as exemplified by His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito's visit to Laos in June this year, and greatly praised it as having brought a great deal of benefit to both sides. Prime Minister Noda congratulated Prime Minister Thongsing for his hosting of the ninth Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and voiced his pleasure that he was the first Japanese prime minister in eight years to visit Laos and that he was able to see that the infrastructure built through bilateral cooperation, such as Vientiane International Airport, supporting the development of the capital Vientiane. Thanking Laos for the loan of elephants to the region affected by last year's great earthquake, Prime Minister Noda said Japan would take good care of them as "Japan-Lao goodwill elephants" and presented a photo panel of them as a commemorative gift.

  2. Prime Minister Thongsing noted that Japan's official development assistance (ODA) had greatly contributed to the development of Laos over many years and expressed his gratitude for Japan's support for the infrastructure development linking Laos to its neighboring countries as well as for agriculture and other sectors. In particular, Prime Minister Thongsing extended his heartfelt gratitude for Japan's assistance for the project to expand Wattay International Airport and the construction of the VIP ward at the airport, for which a hand-over ceremony was held just before the meeting. Prime Minister Noda said he would take necessary steps to extend a yen loan (approximately 5.5 billion yen) for the project to expand the Nam Ngum 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant serving as the source of electricity for the capital Vientiane and that Japan would support the development of Laos through not only ODA but also investment. Prime Minister Noda also said Japan would reinforce its collaboration with Laos to develop an industrial complex in Vientiane that would serve as the base of Japanese investment, and promote public and private cooperation in airport services, agriculture and other projects. In addition, Prime Minister Noda declared Japan's new support in the fields of health and education by utilizing the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund, while Prime Minister Thongsing said he highly appreciated the support toward redressing disparities in the region.

  3. Based on the recent accession of Laos to the WTO, the two leaders voiced expectations that trade between the two countries would further expand. The two leaders also exchanged views on the East Asian situation, including Japan-ASEAN relations, and concurred that they would cooperate in addressing these issues.

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