"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Speech by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Outcome of the G8 Kananaskis Summit and Diplomatic Issues at Present

[Place] Japan Business Federation
[Date] July 3, 2002
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Notes]
[Full text]

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honor for me to stand before you today to speak at the newly established Japan Business Federation.

When I was assigned to serve as Minister for Foreign Affairs last February, the first thing that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi instructed me to do was to reform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I have attached top priority to reforms at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and on restoring the nation's confidence in Japan's diplomacy. Immediately upon my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs I have issued the "Ten Reform Principles to Ensure an Open Foreign Ministry." Then, I launched "The Foreign Ministry Reform Advisory Board", consisting of knowledgeable members from various sectors of society, and this Board has been considering concrete proposals for reform towards the Final Report due to be out in the course of this month. Based on the findings of this report I will implement further reforms and endeavor to ensure that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can restore itself to an organization that is able to respond adequately to the expectations of the nation.

On the other hand, over this period, the situation in the international community has continued to change on a daily basis, and it is necessary for Japan's foreign policy to respond to these changes without hesitation. Since I was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, significant situations have developed that require action by the international community as a whole, including the growing tension in Palestine and the intensification of tension between India and Pakistan. Other incidents, including the one at the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang, have also brought the responses of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs into question. As Minister for Foreign Affairs I have placed priority on the perspective of Japan's national interest and have redoubled my efforts to tackle various issues that are currently facing Japanese diplomacy.

The theme of my speech today is "The Outcome of the G8 Kananaskis Summit and Diplomatic Issues at Present" and in addition to introducing the outcome of the G8 Summit, which was one of the most important diplomatic events in the first half of 2002, I would also like to talk about the diplomatic issues that have arisen from the Summit process and will be dealt with in the latter half of the year.

„Kananaskis Summit

An example I have recently quoted that eloquently describes today's international society in which globalization is progressing apace is that of an e-mail circling on the Internet. Based on the assumption of what it would be like if the world were a "village of 100 people," this e-mail has now been widely read around the world. I am sure that many of you already know that this story has now been published as a picture book and so I will not go into details, but the eight countries that participate in the G8 Summit process represent only a tiny handful of the richest people who live in the 100-person village and therefore these people bear an important responsibility for the happiness and well-being of all the people in this small village. Today the global "village" is facing a variety of issues, such as terrorism and conflict, and poverty and environmental issues. With this situation in mind, I attended the G8 Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Whistler, Canada, held prior to the G8 Leaders Meeting in Kananaskis, and it was there, while engaging in serious discussions, where I had an occasion to consider once again the heavy responsibility Japan bears in the world as a whole.

The G8 Summit this year was convened against a backdrop of the fight against terrorism since the terrorist attacks in the United States last year, development in the international community, in particular the heightened interest in African issues. In accordance with the wishes of Canada, the host country of the G8 this year, it was decided that this should be a Summit that would return to its origins, where leaders could engage freely in fulfilling discussions. Hence Kananaskis in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains was chosen as a venue and themes were identified to which the leaders could apply themselves in intensive discussions.

The meeting was the first opportunity for the eight leaders to get together since the terrorist attacks in the United States last year, and the leaders confirmed that they will continue to strengthen concerted efforts to eradicate international terrorism. In addition, the G8 leaders agreed on the initiative named the "G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction" for the purpose of preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials from falling into the hands of terrorists, under which the G8 countries will support specific cooperation projects, initially in Russia, to address non-proliferation, disarmament, counter-terrorism and nuclear safety issues. Japan announced that it would make financial contributions amounting up to a little more than US$200 million for the time being to this Global Partnership, and expressed its firm resolve to continue to tackle terrorism actively in cooperation with the international community.

On the global economy, the leaders agreed that overall fundamentals are sound despite some micro-economic issues that were pointed out such as the existence of risk factors and some market trends. President George W. Bush of the United States made a statement on the importance of restoring confidence in corporate governance in the United States. In addition, a number of leaders commented on the healthy movement of the euro, although the necessity was also pointed out of correcting the disparities between large powers and smaller powers in Europe.

In this context, Prime Minister Koizumi explained to his colleagues about his cumulative efforts under the concept of "no growth without reform." He also explained that in May the Japanese economy had bottomed out and that structural reforms were steadily progressing as exemplified in the announcement of such basic policies as the Strategy to Revitalize the Economy and Other Measures. Prime Minister Koizumi also pointed out that reforms in Japan have now gone beyond the point of no return and that Japan would continue to follow a reform track. In response, Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom stated that he, "wished Prime Minister Koizumi all the best in his efforts," and other colleagues expressed their strong support and encouragement for Prime Minister Koizumi's efforts , even by banging the table. I believe that behind this warm response and high evaluation lies a strong expectation on the part of the G8 members for the revitalization of the Japanese economy. I believe also that for the sake of our country, and for the global economy, it is necessary for the Government of Japan to move forward firmly with structural reforms.

In addition, concerning trade, leaders agreed that in order to avoid protectionism it was necessary to complete the new round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations within the agreed deadline (January 2005). To this end they agreed that it is necessary for all countries to endeavor to ensure the success of the Fifth WTO Ministerial Meeting.

Further, leaders exchanged their views about issues on development and the environment, bearing in mind the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg in August, and it was agreed that more efforts should be exerted towards the success of the WSSD. This is something I would like to touch upon again later.

One of the main themes raised at the Kananaskis Summit was Africa. While it is true that globalization is progressing around the world and that its benefits are enjoyed by many people, there are also people who are left behind by this global movement and facing difficulties such as starvation and poverty. In particular, Africa is facing such problems as conflict and political instability, and approximately 300 million people, or more than 40% of its population live on less than US$1 per day. As a backdrop to the focus in the Summit on Africa, it was recognized that if these issues that Africa is facing are not resolved, then there will be no stability or prosperity in the world in the 21st century. In addition, there was a sense of urgency at the Summit that poverty should not be used as a justification for terrorism.

Since the 1990s, Japan has continued to make efforts for Africa, including by organizing the process of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). In addition, at the 2000 G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, Japan took the initiative to place emphasis on issues surrounding Africa, including by proposing the G8's dialogue with representatives from African and other developing countries. And at the Kananaskis Summit the G8 Africa Action Plan was adopted. This Action Plan represents the actualization of a concept of partnership through support and cooperation as a response to the movement towards ownership by African countries, best illustrated by the formulation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) by African countries themselves. In this way the inter-related concepts of ownership and partnership, which Japan has been supporting in the TICAD process, are now taking root throughout the international community. I think that Japan's steady diplomatic efforts for Africa ever since the time of the international community's general waning interest in Africa following the end of the Cold War have produced fruitful results.

With respect to regional situations, in addition to the importance being confirmed of the role of the G8 in Afghanistan and India-Pakistan relations, in particular, vigorous discussion took place at Kananaskis on the Middle East. At the Meeting of Foreign Ministers, I explained to my colleagues my recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, and based on my experience, I reiterated that Japan would like to actively engage ourselves in the Middle East peace process. At Kananaskis, based on the speech given by President Bush just before the Summit, the leaders shared the recognition of the importance of the role played by the United States, the importance of reform of the Palestinian institutions, as well as the urgency of elections to be held. Prime Minister Koizumi also stated that Japan would continue to play an active role on this issue. As an important result of the Summit, it was recognized that the G8 is committed to the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side within secure and recognized borders.

Concerning the Korean Peninsula, at the Leaders' Meeting and the Foreign Ministers' Meeting, both Prime Minister Koizumi and I explained Japan's policy towards a resolution of various issues including the abduction cases, and that it is necessary for North Korea to be engaged with the international community through dialogue.

As for my feelings concerning the significance of the G8 Summit process this year, as I stated at the outset, I would say that it was a Summit where common commitment and partnership among the G8 was further deepened as we all share a great responsibility for the future of the "global village." The fight against terrorism since 11 September 2001 would be impossible to implement were it not for the commitment by the G8. I think that the Kananaskis Summit reaffirmed the significance of G8 collaboration. In particular, decisions such as that to allow Russia to host the Summit in 2006 highlighted Russia's importance as a cooperative partner with responsibilities in the international arena and also the importance that other countries place on Russia and the expectations that other countries have for Russia to play an active role.

„Diplomatic Issues at Present

Development and Africa, which were raised at the Summit, are important items to be tackled today in the international community as a whole. I will see to it that in the second half of this year, Japan applies itself even more actively to various challenges which we face, based on the outcome of the Summit.

„Towards the WSSD

Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the international community has made considerable efforts towards the realization of sustainable development. In environmental aspects, we observed some good progress such as the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and, as you may already know, Japan has recently ratified the Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand, since we face the negative consequences of globalization, such as expanding income disparities, a response to development issues is now urgently needed. In this year that marks the tenth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) will be held in Johannesburg in August. In the run-up to the WSSD, a number of conferences have been held this year, including the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico in March and the Kananaskis Summit in Canada in June, at all of which vigorous discussion about the way forward for sustainable development has taken place. Japan has emphasized the importance of enhancing compatibility between environmental preservation and economic development for sustainable development, as well as the need to create a recycling-oriented society and to promote environmental protection through the utilization of science and technology. However, arguments on development issues, in particular on debt relief, official development aid and market access for developing countries have not converged yet. These development issues will be the main focus for the Johannesburg Summit. Japan is determined to do everything in its power to make the WSSD a success, in other words, to realize an agreement by the international community on the plan for implementation of sustainable development.

More specifically, avoiding presentation of some mere abstract objectives, we will do our best to realize that the Johannesburg Summit will be an action-oriented meeting, through which the items that have already been agreed upon in the international arena will be steadily implemented. To this end, it is important for the government to advance cooperation with civil society, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the business community. It is planned that the Japanese delegation to the Johannesburg Summit will include some representatives of NGOs. I would like to take this opportunity to request the prominent business people on the floor to support our efforts so as to ensure the success of the WSSD.

„African Issues

As I have already mentioned, at the Kananaskis Summit, vigorous discussion took place concerning issues surrounding Africa. It is now necessary for this discussion to be translated into action and concrete results. With just over one year remaining until TICAD III to be held in Japan in the second half of 2003, the Government of Japan has designated this period as the Year for Soaring Cooperation with Africa, and will be taking specific measures in order to advance our African policy. Concerning these measures, I would like to stress the following.

First, based on the idea that, "Nation-building is none other than human resource development," we will place emphasis on "human-centered development", including education. Specifically, the Government of Japan intends to steadily implement already announced assistance of more than 250 billion yen over a period of five years to low-income countries, including those in Africa.

In addition, we intend to provide Africa with the benefit of Asia's development experiences, and advance Asia-Africa cooperation. One good example of this cooperation includes the successful development of a new type of rice known as NERICA (New Rice for Africa), a hybrid of African and Asia rice that is resilient against disease and bears a high yield, with the aim of achieving a stable supply of food in Africa. NERICA has been further developed and distributed with the cooperation of Japan. This program has become a leading example of Asia-Africa cooperation.

Second, in order to promote poverty reduction and development, it is important not merely to provide aid, but also to mobilize a wide-range of funding including internal savings, trade and investment. In particular, an important method will be to improve market access for goods produced in developing countries. Japan has already provided duty-free and quota-free market access for almost 100% of mining and manufacturing products from least developed countries, and from next year onwards we will promptly review the specific content of additional duty-free products, towards the goal of tariff amendments next year.

Third, Japan is supporting the efforts of African countries in order to ensure that there is no regression in conflict resolution and efforts towards peace. Since my appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have proposed contributing in the area of the "consolidation of peace" in which Japan can utilize its knowledge and experience in the international community. This "consolidation of peace" would be implemented based on a three-pillar concept, of peace process, domestic security and reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. As for Africa, this concept has already been realized as we decided on the provision of assistance for the social reintegration of former combatants in the Republic of Sierra Leone through the Human Security Trust Fund, and we are now considering the possibility for similar assistance to the Republic of Angola, which has emerged from long-years of civil war.

In advancing such measures, I would like to use the opportunity of my participation in the Johannesburg Summit in August to visit a number of African countries in addition to the Republic of South Africa. I would like among others to visit the sites of Japan's economic cooperation, and exchange views with NGO personnel and Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV's).

„Official Development Assistance (ODA)

In this way, while Japan is endeavoring to tackle actively a number of issues that are facing the international community, there is no change to the importance of official development assistance (ODA) as a valuable means of diplomacy. Moreover, for such issues as climate change, infectious diseases, and areas such as peace-building and conflict prevention, and the alleviation of poverty, a breeding ground for terrorism, international awareness is growing that those issues require an urgent response through ODA. Based upon such awareness, the United States has announced that by 2006 it will increase its ODA by US$5 billion, and the European Union (EU) has pledged to increase the amount over the same period by US$7 billion. If the United States achieves this pledge, Japan, which is currently facing a severe situation concerning its ODA, will find its ODA to be half that of the United States by 2006 if it were to maintain ODA at current levels.

Japan's ODA is highly evaluated by the international community, which is something I too have recognized afresh after my opportunities to visit such places as Afghanistan. It is therefore important for Japan that the quality and magnitude of ODA be maintained, in order for Japan to fulfill its international responsibilities fully. In order to improve the efficiency of Japan's ODA, I am endeavoring to implement well-focused assistance.

Of course, in Japan the fact remains that ODA is coming under increasing scrutiny and it is therefore vital that we gain the understanding and support of the people of Japan in implementing ODA, which uses a portion of our valuable annual budget. The Government of Japan is accordingly undertaking a thorough reform of ODA. I am serving as Chair of the Board on Comprehensive ODA Strategy, which was recently launched, and in this forum I expect that a good deal of discussion will take place concerning ODA. Currently specific measures of ODA reform are being formulated along the three key concepts - national people's participation, ensuring transparency, and efficiency improvement. It is expected that in the near future these measures will be announced.

Relationship with Neighboring Countries

Speaking about diplomatic issues at present, it goes without saying that not only the aforementioned issues, but also relations with neighboring countries are important. In particular, through the latter half of this year we must aim for further development of our relationships with the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation. Today I would like to confine myself to our relations with those two countries.

Japan-China Relations

The Japan-China relations have seen some friction in the first half of the year over several issues that seriously provoked the feelings of the two countries' citizens. It is regrettable that such circumstances have emerged this year, which marks the 30th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-China relations. I believe the responsibility of a government is to take an overall view and take care of issues in a calm manner. From this standpoint, we are dealing with the incident at the Japanese Consulate-General in Shenyang. Recently, I met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan in the Kingdom of Thailand, where we agreed to hold consultations between diplomatic authorities in order to prevent future occurrences of similar cases. At the people's level, it is important to further deepen mutual understanding and trust between members of the younger generation, upon whom our future depends, through the ongoing exchanges under the "Japan Year" and "China Year" in 2002 as well as a wide variety of other exchange programs to make such understanding and trust a firm foundation for the development of our bilateral relationship.

Prime Minister Koizumi has said that China's economic development is in no way a threat to Japan. On the contrary, it is a good opportunity for Japan to upgrade its industries and realize a stronger national economy by raising new industries and seeking opportunities in China's markets. I understand that business circles already share this perception and are moving forward with their strategies on the Chinese market. The further strengthening of interdependence through trade and investment is greatly contributing to the stable development of Japan-China relations.

Of course, it seems as though various occurrences of bilateral friction, as was witnessed over last year's safeguard issues on three agricultural products including Welsh onions, may be inevitable. Certainly, there exists an urgent need for China to develop its trade and investment infrastructure, beginning with the protection of intellectual property rights. On its part, the Government of Japan is doing its best to call upon the Chinese side to address this need. From this point of view, we should strengthen dialogue with China while keeping in mind the prevention of bilateral conflicts on economic matters. In April of this year, Prime Minister Koizumi and Premier of the State Council Zhu Rongji agreed on the establishment of the Japan-China Economic Partnership Consultation. Regarding the themes that should be taken up by this Consultation, I would like to ask everyone present today, as well as the people who are active on the front line of Japan-China economic exchange, for their valuable advice. Your views are welcome and will be gladly heard at any time.

Japan-Russia Relations

Regrettably, recently I often hear voices that point out the stagnation of Japan-Russia relations. With this backdrop, when I attended the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting and had talks with Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs Igor Sergeyevich Ivanov at the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting, I felt the necessity for two-way political dialogue. The summit talks between Prime Minister Koizumi and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation at the Kananaskis Summit led to agreement on the preparation of a Japan-Russia Action Plan. It was meaningful that a new meeting of minds has been achieved through these talks on the importance of the development of Japan-Russia relations. In particular, I value the agreement on Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to Russia sometime between December and January of next year and on my visit this fall that will precede it, as adding momentum to the future development of our bilateral relations.

In Japan-Russia relations, negotiations on a peace treaty, in other words, the issue of the Northern Territories, is a matter that directly bears upon national sovereignty. It is indeed one of the most important diplomatic issues to Japan. Therefore, it is only natural that the Government continues to work seriously on this issue. The Russian side agrees on the continuation of these negotiations.

At the same time, Japan-Russia relations today do not end within the bounds of a bilateral resolution of the territorial issue. We have the potential and the need for cooperation in wide-ranging areas in the international arena, including counter-terrorism and illegal fishing, as well as regional issues such as those in Afghanistan and the Korean Peninsula. It is upon this way of thinking that before the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting I had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Ivanov, and exchanged views on the situations in the Middle East and Pakistan.

In addition to the potential in the area of natural resources and energy, Russia's development in technical prowess since the Soviet era and the emergence of new markets illustrate that the potential of its economy provides business chances for Japan. Of course, efforts on the part of Russia itself in such areas as development of the investment environment are indispensable. However, the Government of Japan also should continue to support indirectly Russia's endeavors, and assist as much as possible in the development of Japanese businesses in Russia. As President Putin himself has said repeatedly, Russia is working with a strong political will towards accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and Japan should continue to support the effort of Russia towards further integration of the Russian economy into the world economy. Such integration should be also beneficial for Japanese enterprises doing business with Russia.

In advancing this kind of broad-ranging cooperation between Japan and Russia, it is also indispensable to deepen mutual understanding between the two countries, and it is necessary to put further efforts into cultural and human exchange.

From this viewpoint, next year has been designated as the Japan Year in Russia 2003. Numerous cultural events are scheduled to be carried out, and I would like to ask the business community for its cooperation. We also have a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Town Meeting scheduled for late August in Sapporo, and I would like to take up Japan-Russia relations as a topic at this meeting.

„Conclusion

I have now provided you with a fleeting overview of diplomatic agenda for the latter half of 2002, and the various diplomatic challenges that we will possibly have to tackle. Of course, in order to address those challenges I have laid out in my speech, it will be vital to strengthen further the relationship with the United States, which forms a pivotal axis in Japan's diplomacy. In addition, there are many other issues and challenges mounting up, including the strengthening of relations with our important neighbor the Republic of Korea, measures towards the resolution of various concerns over North Korea, and the creation of a framework to enhance bilateral and regional economic relations, including free trade agreements, all of which must be dealt with by us diplomatic authorities.

In conclusion, what I would like to emphasize most strongly is the importance of pushing forward with diplomacy that represents "all Japan" in facing these various challenges. It is not only Foreign Ministry officials who are responsible for diplomacy. The source of our country's diplomatic priorities and strength of position is the understanding and support of the people of Japan. Since my appointment, the reason why I have been emphasizing such phrases as "easily understandable" and "transparency" in policies is none other than a manifestation of the awareness of the importance of people's understanding and support.

In particular, I would say to all of you gathered here today, members of the business community, we must be able to share your knowledge about various areas, and receive your support in such global areas as the environment and development, and bilateral relations with various countries. Your networks with business communities and key people in various countries are incredibly valuable assets for Japan as a whole.

Allow me to close by requesting once again your understanding and cooperation in the promotion of our country's diplomacy.

Thank you for your attention