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Diplomatic Relations

Japan Myanmar Summit Meeting (Overview)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with H.E. Mr. Thein Sein, President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, for approximately 30 minutes from 4:15 pm (local time) on Monday, November 19, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, during his visit to Cambodia to attend the ASEAN related Summit meetings. The summary of the meeting is as follows:

  1. Overview

    At the outset, Prime Minister Noda expressed his sympathy to those affected by the recent earthquake in the central area of Myanmar. Touching upon the fact that the progress of reform under President Thein Sein was praised at the ASEM 9 where both leaders attended, Prime Minister Noda expressed that both Japan's public and private sectors would do their utmost to support Myanmar's efforts towards reform. Prime Minister Noda also referred to the plans for Ms. Junko Koshino to design the Myanmar national team's uniform. In addition, Prime Minister Noda expressed Japan's intention to train Myanmar's Judo coaches in Japan as well as provide tatami mattresses and Judo uniforms. In this connection, Prime Minister Noda presented to President Thein Sein a Judo uniform bearing his name.
    President Thein Sein said that Myanmar would continue to steadfastly press ahead with reform. Stating that the damages caused by the recent earthquake were severe, he said that it would be appreciated if Myanmar could receive cooperation from Japan, as the Government of Myanmar is putting everything into recovery efforts. He also expected to work with Japan to further deepen the relationship between the two countries.

  2. Bilateral relations

    (1) Prime Minister Noda stated that, in line with what the two leaders had agreed in April, Japan would robustly support, among others, the development of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), capacity building for industries as well as development of legal and judicial system, and development in regions with Myanmar's minority population, while stressing the importance of sound macro-economic management.
    In support of Myanmar's efforts for reform, Prime Minister Noda announced that Japan will implement its arrears clearance operation with Myanmar in January 2013, which, Japan is considering, will be followed, at the earliest possible timing thereafter, by the provision of concessional yen loan with the size of approximately 50 billion JPY; the projects under consideration are as follows: emergency rehabilitation of thermal power plants, rural development and poverty reduction, and the development of the Thilawa SEZ. At the same time, Prime Minister Noda expressed Japan's expectations that Myanmar will continue working closely with the World Bank, the ADB, the IMF and the Paris Club for clearing its arrears in a comprehensive way. Prime Minister Noda also conveyed that Japan is actively considering providing grant assistance and technical assistance.
    Prime Minister Noda also expressed hope that Myanmar would expeditiously develop an institutional setup to further promote investment from Japan, and stated his intention to seek to agree on a Bilateral Investment Agreement at an early time.
    To respond, President Thein Sein expressed appreciation for Japan's assistance to date, stressing that Japan's development cooperation contributes to the improvement of people's livelihoods and underpins Myanmar's reforms. He stated that assistance and investment from Japan remain invaluable for Myanmar's further development and that Myanmar would undertake efforts to strengthen its institutions on this front.

    (2) Prime Minister Noda stressed the importance of people-to-people exchange, referring to the planned visit by the Chief Justice of Myanmar Supreme Court to Japan. President Thien Sein appreciated Japan's cooperation in the field of people-to-people exchange, and expressed his desire to promote people-to-people exchange between the two countries further.

    (3) Prime Minister Noda expressed concern over the recent violence in the Rakhine state from a humanitarian standpoint. President Thein Sein explained about measures that the Government of Myanmar has taken.

    (4) Concerning the death of Mr. Kenji Nagai, Prime Minister Noda reiterated Japan's request for a positive approach from the Government of Myanmar, citing Japan's previous request at the ministerial level.

  3. Regional Issues

    (1) Touching upon Myanmar's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014, Prime Minister Noda expressed his hope to further deepen dialogue between the two countries on various regional and international issues. President Thein Sein expressed his expectation to strengthen coordination with Japan toward 2014.

    (2) Prime Minister Noda explained Japan's position concerning relations with China, saying that the relationship between the two countries was one of the most important bilateral relationships for Japan, that despite the difficult present situation involving the two countries Japan had consistently acted calmly from the beginning and that, as a responsible nation in the Asia-Pacific region, it would continue contributing to regional peace and prosperity.

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