On Thursday, September 26,2013, Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, who was visiting New York to attend the 68th United Nations General Assembly, held a meeting with the foreign ministers of the Extended Troika of CELAC (Community of Latin America and Caribbean States) (the Republic of Cuba (chair), the Republic of Chile (former chair), the Republic of Costa Rica (incoming chair), and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM))). An overview of the meeting is as follows (attending from the CELAC Extended Troika side were H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, H.E. Mr. José Enrique Castillo, Minister of External Relations and Worship of the Republic of Costa Rica, H.E. Mr. Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and Mr. Pedro Oyarce Yuraszeck, Deputy Director-General of Multilateral and Global Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile (representing the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Chile)):

1. Opening Remarks

(1) The Chair of CELAC (Foreign Minister of Cuba) proposed the establishment of a mechanism for dialogue to further develop economic relations between Japan and Latin America and Caribbean countries, as well as to exchange opinions on various issues in the international arena such as nuclear weapons disarmament and non-proliferation, peace, as well as compliance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

(2) Minister Kishida expressed his pleasure at the realization of the first Japan-CELAC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and added that he would like to work in close cooperation with CELAC, with which Japan shares fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law, in order to create a better international community and to progress hand-in-hand. Minister Kishida also expressed his gratitude for the support received regarding the holding of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

(3) The Foreign Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, referring to the attendance of Mr. Minoru Kiuchi, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs to the CARICOM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in May, conveyed his expectation for the strengthening of relations with Japan at various levels, including through CELAC. Trinidad and Tobago, Chile and Costa Rica referred to disaster reduction, disarmament and non-proliferation as fields in which Japan and CELAC should cooperate.

2. Future cooperation

Minister Kishida stated that the Government of Japan would like to collaborate closely with various sub-regional integration organizations such as, amongst others, the Pacific Alliance, CARICOM, the Central American Integration System (SICA), as well as with CELAC, which complements these sub-regional organizations. To that end, Minister Kishida stated that Japan would like to increase high-level dialogues between Japan and CELAC. Minister Kishida also stated that Japan would like to cooperate with CELAC in the improvement of the business environment in light of the significant expansion of trade and investment between Japan and Latin America and Caribbean countries in recent years, and in disaster reduction, utilizing Japan’s knowledge and experience in the area. Moreover, Minister Kishida stated that Japan would like to cooperate with CELAC on international issues such as the reform of the United Nations Security Council, nuclear disarmament and climate change. The CELAC side responded that they were pleased to learn of Japan’s interest in strengthening Japan-CELAC relations and that CELAC would like to continue the exchange of opinions on important issues such as disaster reduction, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

3. At the end of the meeting, Minister Kishida stated that today’s meeting reaffirmed the potentiality for cooperation that existed in numerous fields between Japan and CELAC. Minister Kishida also expressed his wish that today’s meeting serve as a catalyst for establishing dialogue at the working-level to strengthen coordination and create a win-win relationship with CELAC in various fields

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