Secretary-General's remarks at a joint press encounter with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Tokyo, Japan, 30 June 2008SG: Minasama, konnichiwa.
I am honoured to be surrounded by so many friends and familiar faces. I have been to Japan many times as a diplomat and I am truly feeling among friends here.
As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of Japan's leading and active role in the Organization, as well as my deep appreciation for its immense contribution to our work.
Prime Minister Fukuda and I had an excellent discussion on the major challenges the world faces, as well as practical ways to address them through the United Nations.
I have expressed my appreciation to the Prime Minister for his strong personal leadership and tireless efforts to make the coming G-8 summit meeting in Toyako a great success.
It will be a major milestone in our common effort to mobilize international action on such challenges as climate change, the food crisis and the Millennium Development Goals.
We paid particular attention to Africa, given Japan's long-standing effort to turn it into “a continent of hope”. I hope that the leaders of the G-8 summit will come out with concrete measures to address the challenges in a comprehensive manner. I commend the Prime Minister's leadership in this process, in particular his efforts to combat climate change.
I praised the Prime Minister for his contribution to the increased cooperation among Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. We exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula.
I sincerely hope that participants in the six-party talks will build on recent encouraging progress to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
I strongly welcomed Japan's contribution to preventive diplomacy and peacekeeping and its leadership on peacebuilding, where it is spearheading international efforts to help countries stand on their own feet and to rebuild themselves after armed conflict.
I particularly appreciated the welcome news that the Prime Minister and his Government is going to send the Self Defense Forces to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and also establish a PKO (Peacekeeping) training center with the financial support.
We, of course, exchanged views on the need to move Security Council reform forward.
I was pleased to hear from the Prime Minister, as well as other leaders, on Japan's renewed strong commitment to the United Nations, its strong support for our reform efforts, and the determination to expand Japan's role and activities in the Organization.
I am particularly encouraged by the Prime Minister's commitment to increase Official Development Assistance and its contribution to implement the Millennium Development Goals.
Japan should be proud of being “a peace fostering nation” and its commitment to multilateralism.
Japan, as the second largest contributor to the United Nations, 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.
Thank you very much.
Domo arigato gozaimasu.