Japan-Timor-Leste Summit Meeting (Summary)

December 16, 2023
[Provisional translation]

On December 16, commencing at 3:25 p.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, held a Japan-Timor-Leste Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, who is visiting Japan to participate in the Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation. The overview of the summit meeting is as follows. The summit meeting was attended on the Japanese side by Mr. MURAI Hideki, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, among others; and on the Timor-Leste side by H.E. Mr. Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of Tourism and Environment, among others.
After the summit meeting, the two leaders issued a Joint Press Statement on “Comprehensive Partnership towards Sustainable Growth and Development".
1. Introduction
Prime Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude for Prime Minister Gusmão’s visit to Japan. Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan had supported Timor-Leste's nation-building since its independence and welcomed the upgrading of the Japan-Timor-Leste relationship to a "Comprehensive Partnership." Prime Minister Kishida also stated that, as the world is at a historical turning point, Japan places great importance on promoting cooperation with Timor-Leste and ASEAN to maintain and strengthen a free and open international order based on the rule of law and to ensure a world where human dignity is protected, and stated that Japan would continue to support Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his hope that the Commemorative Summit would become an opportunity to pass on to the next generation the "trust" which Japan and ASEAN have built thus far, and to further strengthen the relations between Japan and ASEAN. In response, Prime Minister Gusmão appreciated that he was welcomed by the Japanese side on his visit and that Japan had provided tremendous assistance for Timor-Leste since its independence. Prime Minister Gusmão also stated that he would like to further develop Japan-Timor-Leste relations.
2. Bilateral Relations
Prime Minister Kishida stated that towards Timor-Leste's accession to ASEAN, Japan would continue to provide capacity building assistance including through human resource development, and strengthen and maintain assistance in such areas as infrastructure development, economic diversification, social service delivery and maritime safety, and defense cooperation including through participation by the Self Defense Forces of Japan in the capacity building assistance project "HARI’I HAMTUK" and acceptance of students from Timore-Leste at the National Defense Academy of Japan. Prime Minister Kishida also stated that the two countries would strengthen and continue people-to-people exchange, which is the foundation of their friendly relations. In response, Prime Minister Gusmão expressed his gratitude for Japan's assistance including its support for Timor-Leste's accession to ASEAN, and expressed his desire to continue to cooperate with Japan in various areas.
3. Responding to regional and international challenges
The two leaders also exchanged views on various regional and international issues, and confirmed that they would continue to work together.

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