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Diplomatic Relations

Japan-Ireland Summit Meeting (Overview)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

[Provisional Translation]

On June 19, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who was on his official visit to Ireland, held a summit meeting with Mr. Enda Kenny, T.D., Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland), in Ireland (the city of Dublin) commencing at 11:55 a.m. (7:55 p.m. JST) for approximately 45 minutes, and subsequently held a working lunch commencing at 01:15 p.m. (9:15 p.m. JST) for approximately 60 minutes. An overview of the meeting and working lunch is as follows:

1. Opening Remarks

(1) Prime Minister Kenny cordially welcomed Prime Minister Abe's visit to Ireland, which was the first-ever official visit to Ireland by an incumbent Japanese Prime Minister. Moreover, Prime Minister Kenny expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Abe for wearing a green tie and pocket handkerchief, the color which symbolizes Ireland.

(2) In response to this, Prime Minister Abe stated the following three issues and asked Prime Minister Kenny to make his visit to Japan.

A. It was a great honor that his visit marked the first-ever official visit by the incumbent Prime Minister of Japan.

B. Japan and Ireland share common values and also share a tradition of living in coexistence with nature.

C. On the occasion of his visit to Ireland, he would like to deepen exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in every strata of society.

2. Importance of Ireland

(1) Prime Minister Abe stated the following two issues.

A. He highly appreciated the history of Ireland which developed itself by utilizing its characteristic diligence since Ireland joined the European Community 40 years ago, and also appreciated the efforts by Ireland for leading the European Union, which is in a very difficult situation, as the Presidency holder in the past six months, while Ireland itself had to make efforts to recover from the debt crisis.

B. As mentioned above, Japan and Ireland share a common virtue of "diligence" other than "value" and both countries are in a common position of working toward the revitalization of economy and growth.

(2) In response to the above, Prime Minister Kenny expressed his gratitude for appreciating Ireland's efforts and also expressed his gratitude for the roles played by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in the expansion of investment from Japan.

3. Bilateral relations

(1) Prime Minister Abe explained the current condition of the economic policies of his administration and proposed the following three issues based on three key words of the growth strategy.

A. To develop human resources who can "take on challenges." Using the opportunity of signing the "Memorandum on Cooperation in the Fields of Education, Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports" in May, he would like to promote exchanges in every field and level.

B. Promotion of "open" trade and investment relations. Prime Minister Abe requested cooperation from Prime Minister Kenny for preparation of an environment where Japanese enterprises do business in Ireland can operate more actively. Moreover, Prime Minister Abe stated that early conclusion of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) would be very important and he would like to produce good results of negotiations through continued coordination with Ireland, the standard-bearer of free traders in the EU.

C. "Innovation" for strengthening competitiveness. Medical equipment and pharmaceutical products industries, which are flourishing in Ireland, are the essence of "innovation," as Japanese pharmaceutical companies have already been doing business. Prime Minister Abe expressed his expectation toward private-level economic exchanges in this field.

(2) In response to the above, Prime Minister Kenny strongly agreed with the opinions, stating that those three key words are "common DNA" of the two countries.
Moreover, Prime Minister Kenny stated that the global economy needs revitalization of the Japanese economy and therefore he had expectations for the Abe administration's economic policies. Then Prime Minister Kenny explained Ireland's efforts to recover from the European debt crisis and also the efforts by Ireland as the Presidency holder of the EU with a focus on the field of economy. In addition, Prime Minister Kenny stated that Ireland is the only English-speaking country in the Euro area and is a gateway to the European market. Then, Prime Minister Kenny stated that he would like to provide support to promote investment to Ireland from Japan, which is one of the economically strongest countries. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kenny stated that Prime Minister Abe's statement that as Japan is a country with long living people, there is a great possibility of cooperation in the field of medicine was significant and Prime Minister Kenny would like to cooperate with Japan for the promotion of innovation in the field of medicine.

(3) Prime Minister Abe stated that he would like to obtain the understanding and cooperation of Ireland for the relaxation and abolishment of restrictions concerning the import of Japanese products to the EU.

4. Regional situations and international issues (discussed at the working lunch)

(1) Situations in Asia

A. Prime Minister Abe explained the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, which shows both remarkable growth and intensifying severity, and stated that coordination between Japan and Europe, which share common interests in terms of the stability and progress of Asia, would be important. In response to this, Prime Minister Kenny expressed his strong support of the strengthening of coordination.

B. Both leaders also exchanged opinions on the North Korean issues. Particularly, concerning the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea, Prime Minister Abe explained that he was determined to completely solve this issue during his premiership and Prime Minister Kenny expressed his understanding and support.

(2) Situations in Africa

Prime Minister Abe explained that peace and stability in the Sahel region, including anti-terrorism measures, was mainly discussed at the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) and G8 meetings and both leaders shared views on coordinating with each other to realize peace and stability in Africa.

(3) Global issues

Both leaders shared views on further promotion of cooperation in the reform of the United Nations Security Council and in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation.

(4) Other

Both leaders exchanged opinions on issues such as development aid and Syria.

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