Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at joint press encounter with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Tokyo (Japan), 03 August 2010

Okada Gaimudaijin, domo arigato gozaimasu. (Thank you very much Foreign Minsiter Okada) Minasan, konbanwa. (Good evening to all of you.)

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to meet you again. I am delighted to be in Japan for my fourth visit. I thank the Government and people of Japan for their warm welcome and hospitality. I thank Foreign Minister Okada for his hospitality for this sumptuous dinner.

I am especially honoured to be here as Japan and the world commemorate the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Japan makes immense contributions to the United Nations. I hope to use this visit to expand our cooperative partnership between the United Nations and Japan. I would like to see Japan play an even greater role in global affairs, commensurate with its global importance.

Japan is already the second largest financial contributor to the UN regular budget and to the UN peacekeeping operations.

But Japan's engagement goes well beyond financing. It extends across the whole spectrum of the UN agenda and goals – from climate change to counter-terrorism, from peacebuilding in Africa to human security and our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. And of course, Japan is a leader on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Foreign Minister Okada and I have discussed these and other issues, including important regional matters such as the Korean Peninsula, the situations in Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Somalia.

We also talked about the question of Security Council reform. I am aware of Japan's position and aspirations and its efforts to promote a more representative, transparent and accountable Security Council. I told the Foreign Minister that as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will spare no effort to facilitate this ongoing negotiations among the member states to achieve this reform of the Security Council, which is absolutely necessary considering the tremendous changes in the international political scene since the inception of the United Nations.

I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Kan Naoto tomorrow. Then, as you know, I will visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima to send a very important and strong message to the world: that the nuclear threat is real, and that we must do everything we can to build on the current global momentum towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.

This is what I have discussed. Thank you very much. Now I will be happy to take your questions.

Domo arigato gozaimashita.