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Monthly News for September, 2003

September 10, 2003

Vice President of Vietnam Visits Secretary General Yamazaki

The Vice Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Chun Kun Rok, paid a complimentary visit to Secretary General Taku Yamazaki and Diet Member Tsutomu Takebe at LDP Headquarters on August 6th. Vice Chairman Chun spoke about Vietnamese ? Japanese relations by indicating that international trade between the countries now amounts to $4.2 billion and that Japan ranks third in terms of direct investment but first in terms of FDI results. He also pointed out that forty percent of all development assistance in Vietnam is in the form of economic linkages with Japan and are testimony to the strengthened ties between the nations.
Secretary General Yamazaki responded, “This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Vietnamese-Japanese relations; a friendship that has strengthened over the years. An investment cooperation agreement has been reached between our countries and I hope that our relations will continue to strengthen.”
Diet Member Takabe added, “Vietnam enjoys widespread popularity among the youth of Japan. I think we should make an effort to deepen such ties and to broaden the scope of Vietnamese-Japanese relations.”

Chinese Director of the Diplomatic Division, Li Zhaoxing, Meets the Secretary Generals of the Ruling Parties

On August 12, Li Zhaoxing, the recently appointed Director of the Diplomatic Division of China, visited Japan for the first time to meet the Secretary Generals of the ruling parties ? Taku Yamazaki (Liberal Democratic Party), Tetsuzo Fuyushiba (New Komeito Party) and Toshihiro Nikai (New Conservative Party) ? at a downtown hotel. They touched upon the issue of the deaths and injuries of Chinese workers resulting from the accidental discovery of chemical weapons left over by the former Japanese Army in Qiqihar, China as well as the effort to remove visa requirements for visitors between the countries as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations of Sino-Japanese relations.
Director Li stated his desire that the historical issues between the countries not be treated as a burden, but as an experience in history that should be understood morally so that the path to peace may be followed.
Secretary General Yamazaki responded, “while reflecting on the past, we wish to develop Sino-Japanese friendship, and the 25th Anniversary celebrations will signal a new start in our relations.
Yamazaki also requested China’s assistance in helping to settle the abductions issue with North Korea at the latest Six Nations talks hosted in Beijing. Director Li replied that given the time limitations of the talks, the nuclear issue will be of utmost importance.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Silvan Zion Shalom Meets with the Secretary Generals of the Ruling Parties

Silvan Zion Shalom, who is serving as both the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, met Secretary Generals Taku Yamazaki (Liberal Democratic Party), Tetsuzo Fuyushiba (New Komeito Party) and Toshihiro Nikai (New Conservative Party) ? within the National Diet. Secretary General Yamazaki touched upon Israeli-Japanese relations, saying “last year marked the 50th Anniversary of our relations with Israel, a relationship that has strengthened over the years. While the path to peace in the Middle East is a long one, we are hoping that the Road Map can achieve peace in the short term.” Foreign Minister Shalom responded, “We were hopeful with the inauguration of Prime Minister Abbas, but yet the suicide bombings have not stopped. Japan is the largest contributor of support of Palestine. We wish for Japan’s influence in this respect.”
Secretary General Yamazaki added, “Security in the Middle East is not only a problem for Middle Easterners, it is a matter of great importance to world peace.”
Shalom replied that whereas Prime Minister Abbas talks of his support for the Road Map, Israel wishing to see some indication of this.

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