Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at joint press encounter with Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Tokyo (Japan), 01 July 2009

Doumo arigato gozaimashita.

In a short period of time, I have had the opportunity to meet with a wide range of Japanese leaders and people.

Today, I started the day with a breakfast with Japanese business leaders from the Keizai Doyukai and the Global Compact Japan Network who are playing a leading role in this new era of responsible and sustainable business. That was followed by a lively exchange with students at Tokyo University. I was also given an opportunity to reach out to the next generation of Japan's leaders by being interviewed on a children's news program. And I even had the chance to meet with a special group of Japanese celebrities who are working hard as UN goodwill ambassadors to mobilize support for victims of poverty and oppression around the world.

The Prime Minister and I had an excellent discussion on the many challenges facing the world today and ways in which Japan can address them through the United Nations. I expressed to the Prime Minister, the people and Government of Japan my profound gratitude for the country's contribution to the United Nations.

At the top of that list is climate change, which I believe is the most crucial issue of the day for humanity. I cannot imagine a truly effective response to this challenge, including reaching a post-Kyoto agreement in December at the conference in Copenhagen, without Japan's leadership. Such leadership is needed urgently right now if we are to seal a deal in Copenhagen that all the world's governments can agree on. I count on Japan to play a bold and active role towards this historic objective, and I am very much encouraged by the strong commitment by Prime Minister Aso Taro that he will continue to play such a leading role.

On DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), we stressed the importance of full and effective implementation by all states of Security Council resolution 1874. I reaffirmed our conviction of the need to resume dialogue, including the six-party talks, and expressed the UN's readiness to provide any assistance required.

I will spare no effort in facilitating the achievement of verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, as well as durable peace and stability in the region and beyond.

The Prime Minister briefed me on Japan's latest contribution to UN peacekeeping and, I expressed my appreciation for its decision to take part in the UN Peacekeeping Operations's Standby Arrangements.

I discussed Myanmar with the Prime Minister, on how to advance our common cause through my visit later this week. I expressed my appreciation for Japan's support to my efforts and count on Japan's continuing help as a leading member of the Friends [of Myanmar] Group.

Ladies and gentlemen, I said upon my arrival yesterday that I came to Japan to further consolidate, strengthen and expand UN-Japan cooperation.

I certainly was able to have meaningful discussions toward that end, and the Prime Minister and I will now continue those discussions over a working dinner.

Japan has actively participated in the work of the United Nations and the Japanese people should know how much Japan's global role is appreciated in the United Nations and world-wide.

[Nihon no korekarano masumasu kyoryoku na leadership o kitai shimasu.] (I look forward to an ever stronger leadership by Japan.)

Domo arigato gozaimashita. (Thank you very much.)