Posts Tagged ‘Koichiro Gemba’

Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba and Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 28, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Welcome, all of you here, and thank you for coming. As you can tell, we have a lot of people and a very, very small room. But we are with two close allies united by so many common interests and values. This is the fourth meeting that we’ve had in the past two years, including most recently this summer on the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Our three nations share a strong interest in the peaceful, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We will discuss today what further steps we can take toward that goal. We will also discuss how every nation in the region has a responsibility to work to resolve disputes peacefully, lower tensions, promote regional security and stability.

Our alliances with Japan and the Republic of Korea are cornerstones of peace and prosperity in the region and each of these countries represent an enormous success story about what can happen when nations are focused on peace and stability and giving more opportunities to their own people and developing good relationships with their neighbors. We will maintain close cooperation between the three of us. That is a top priority for the United States, and I’m delighted to be here with my friends and colleagues. Both ministers, Minister Gemba and Minister Kim, are people with whom I work closely, and I look forward to our discussion today.

Thank you.

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Remarks at the Top of a Meeting with Korean Foreign Minister Kim and Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Peace Palace
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
July 12, 2012

Thank you very much, Mr. Kim. And it’s a great pleasure to meet with my colleagues and friends, Foreign Minister Kim and Foreign Minister Gemba. I thank Foreign Minister Kim for hosting this meeting.

We began the three-way consultations two years ago in Washington. And we met again in Bali last year. And representatives from our three countries have met dozens of times in between. These consultations give us a chance to take stock of current regional and global challenges and opportunities, and to chart together a future for our trilateral partnership. So, I am very pleased we are convening again in the margins of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Since we last met, as Foreign Minister Kim has said, we have addressed unexpected challenges, including the death of Kim Jong Il, and North Korea’s recent missile launch in violation of United Nations resolutions. These events prove the importance of this trilateral framework, and the need to keep strengthening it. We share values and interests, as our joint statement reflects. As three democracies with a common vision on how to promote peace and prosperity, we all have a deep stake and a great responsibility to work together to strengthen and update a rules-based order for the Asia Pacific. This trilateral cooperation is about our shared future, and it is about how to deliver the greatest benefits to people in our three countries and across the region.

To translate these gatherings into results for our people, we need to bring even greater order and structure to this three-way partnership. So we welcome the newly framed steering committee, steering group. And I look forward to our consultation today and to our continued efforts to build even deeper connections among our three countries. Thank you, Foreign Minister Kim.


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Remarks With Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Iikura Guest House
Tokyo, Japan
July 8, 2012

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Ladies and gentlemen, we would like to commence the press conference with Minister Gemba and Secretary Clinton. First of all Minister Gemba will speak, and then Secretary Clinton will follow.

Minister, the floor is yours.

FOREIGN MINISTER GEMBA: (Via interpreter) Thank you very much. I would like to make my initial statement. Today, in the time available during the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, I was able to exchange views thoroughly with Secretary Clinton on matters not only about Tokyo Conference itself, but also the follow-up of our Prime Minister’s recent visit to the U.S., ASEAN-related foreign ministerial meetings due next week, the Asia Pacific situation including North Korea, and the challenges such as Iran.

First on Afghanistan, substantive discussion is being developed in this Tokyo Conference, which makes me feel that combined with the outcome of the NATO Chicago Summit meeting which has been led of the United States – led by the United States, a way could be paved for the independent and sustainable nation building of Afghanistan during the transformation decade in both security and development aspects.

I have shared this perception with Secretary Clinton and confirmed that we will continue to partner and collaborate closely so as to ensure the follow-up on the outcome of the Tokyo Conference, such as the concepts of our mutual commitment and regular review process going forward. So we will continue to have close collaboration between the two countries.

Next, on Japan-U.S. relations, we confirmed that with a view to deepening that U.S. alliance, U.S.-Japan alliance, befitting the 21st century, we will solidly follow up the outcome of our Prime Minister’s recent visit to the U.S..

On U.S. Forces realignment, Secretary Clinton and I, based upon the joint statement from the recent 2+2 meeting, confirmed to accelerate our works so that certain outcome can be achieved by the end of this year on questions such as: one, relocation of Marines in Okinawa and Guam; two, return of the land south of Kadena; and three, improvement of the training facilities in Guam and Northern Mariana in order to concretize Japan-U.S. dynamic defense cooperation. We also reconfirmed to work continuously on Futenma Air Station relocation to Henoko.

On the question of Osprey, I have sought the continued cooperation from the U.S. side regarding the further provision of information on the accidents. Prompt and sufficient information provision is something that I have requested for U.S. cooperation, so that not only the people of Okinawa but the Japanese citizens at large can feel reassured on the safety question, to which Secretary Clinton gave us her understanding.

On Iran, I explained our position once again that we support the EU3+3 approach towards the peaceful, diplomatic solutions of the issue, and we promote collaboration of international community based on the approach of dialogue and pressure. Japan wishes to continue our efforts to closely coordinate with the U.S. and the international community.

Asia Pacific: We exchanged our views on the Asia Pacific situation. In particular on DPRK, once again we confirmed to maintain close coordination between Japan and U.S. and among Japan, U.S., and South Korea.

So that is all for my initial remarks.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Minister. Secretary Clinton, the floor is yours.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Gemba, and I am delighted that we had a chance to have a broad, comprehensive discussion. I want to begin by congratulating the Government of Japan for the excellent preparation and execution of the Tokyo Conference. As the Minister said, here we have agreed that we need a different kind of long-term economic partnership, one built on Afghan progress in meeting its goals, in fighting corruption, in carrying out reform, and providing good governance.

After intensive effort with the international community, Japan has announced that $16 billion has been pledged to support Afghanistan’s development over the next four years – more than enough to meet the World Bank’s estimated requirements. And we thank Japan for its generous pledge.

For our part, the United States will be working with Congress to provide assistance at or near the levels of the past decade through 2017, both to help secure Afghanistan’s gains and to protect the already considerable investment that the United States has made not only in financial terms but in the sacrifice of our men and women in the last decade.

We must ensure that the transition is irreversible and that Afghanistan can never again be a safe haven for international terrorism. Just as we met in Chicago three months ago to safeguard Afghanistan’s security future, today we have charted a way forward on Afghanistan’s economic requirements. So I believe that we have really made a good commitment to putting Afghanistan on a path to economic self-sufficiency. As Afghan capacity and revenues increase, our contributions can decline.

We emphasized key factors about the role of the Afghan Government and people in stepping up to meet the challenges that they have ahead of them; the role of the international community to support its commitments and to do so within the Tokyo Framework of Mutual Accountability; the role of the neighbors to work together to build a prosperous, interconnected zone of commerce and trade across South and Central Asia; and the role of the private sector in helping bring investment, training, and jobs.

This morning I also had the opportunity to meet with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khar to discuss our many shared interests, including the fight against extremism and terrorism; a successful resolution to the Afghan conflict; promotion of civil society and democratic institutions; and greater economic and trade opportunities.

Later today Foreign Minister Khar and I will join Afghan Foreign Minister Rassoul when we convene the first minister-level Core Group meeting among the three countries. We will reaffirm the Core Group’s goal of enhanced cooperation in support of an Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and jointly we will reiterate our call for the armed opposition to abandon violence and enter into a dialogue with the Afghan Government.

The Foreign Minister and I also discussed a range of bilateral and regional concerns. We are looking forward to both attending the ASEAN Regional Forum in Cambodia, where we will have an opportunity for a trilateral meeting with the Republic of Korea. Among the items to be discussed there will be pressing Pyongyang to meet its international obligations. I reaffirmed the United States commitment to Japan’s defense and security. We’re moving forward on the vision that we laid out in April on the future of our alliance. We’re addressing new challenges on the high seas, in space, and cyberspace.

And I want to say a word about the issue that the Minister raised with me concerning the Osprey aircraft. Meeting our security requirements requires the right equipment, including military aircraft. And I understand and appreciate the concern raised here in Japan, and in particular on Okinawa, about the Osprey. The United States cares deeply about the safety of the Japanese people, just as we care deeply about the safety of the men and women in the U.S. military. And we will work closely with our Japanese partners to ensure that any American military equipment brought into Japan will meet the highest safety standards. And I assured the Minister that when the investigation is complete, the results will be shared with Japan.

We also discussed the opportunity to strengthen our economic relationship, and the United States welcomes Japan’s interest in the Trans Pacific Partnership, which we think will connect economies throughout the region, making trade and investment easier, spurring exports, creating jobs. The TPP is just one element of our increased focus on the Asia Pacific, but it is important that we recognize that the Japanese-American relationship is really at the cornerstone of everything we are doing in the Asia Pacific. We are not only treaty allies; we are friends and partners with common interests and shared values.

When I leave Japan, I will be traveling to Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, where I will deliver a common message: The United States is a partner in the Pacific working not only to promote security, but also to create greater economic opportunity, support democratic reform, spark innovation, and strengthen the ties between and among our people.

Finally, to turn briefly to another part of the world, yesterday the people of Libya went to the polls to choose their representatives for the Libya National Congress, and we congratulate them on this historic milestone. After more than four decades of authoritarian rule, men and women from every corner of Libya are beginning to determine their own future. And it will be the will of the people, not the whim of a dictator.

But of course, now the hard work really begins to build an effective, transparent government that unifies the country and delivers for the Libyan people. And the United States stands ready to assist Libyans in their transition to a free, democratic Libya at peace with your neighbors and where every Libyan has a chance to fulfill his or her God-given potential.

So again, thank you, Minister. And I appreciate greatly our very strong consultation and partnership.

MODERATOR: Questions. If you are designated, please identify yourself by stating your name and affiliation. Proceed to your questions. First, the Japanese media.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Thank you. Nishida from Mainichi newspaper company. I have questions to both of you. During the meeting you have exchanged views regarding regional situation. Tough security situation continues in Asia, so I have a question about that. As you mentioned, in a couple of days ARF ES/EAS-related meetings will be held in Cambodia. Major theme will be South China Sea related issues. During your conference, what kind of discussion did you have? Also between ASEAN and China, legally binding Code of Conduct is something which is being debated. So between Japan and the U.S., the collaboration is taken in certain approaches. May I have comments from both of you?

MODERATOR: First of all, Minister Gemba.

FOREIGN MINISTER GEMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Nishida. Your question was regarding the situation pertaining to South China Sea. United Nations has a Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as other related international laws. We must be abided by the international laws and then we should be making rules. I think it’s very important to do the rulemaking in accordance to international laws. It’s a basic thinking.

On top of that, through dialogue, in a peaceful way we must resolve the problems. That is the basic thinking I have. Based upon that thinking, I discussed it with Secretary Clinton. Among others, as you indicated, COC, Code of Conduct, was included in our discussion. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s important to reiterate what the Minister said. We believe that we have a national interest, as every nation does, in the freedom of navigation, in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, and unimpeded, lawful commerce in the South China Sea. And therefore we believe the nations of the Asia Pacific region should work collaboratively and diplomatically to resolve their disputes without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and without conflict.

We want to see all parties with claims – whether they are land or maritime claims – pursue them in accordance with international law, including as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention. And we urge progress between the ASEAN nations and China on the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. And certainly when we go to Cambodia for the ASEAN Regional Forum, both the Minister and I will be urging that progress be made on such a Code of Conduct.

MODERATOR: U.S. media.

QUESTION: Yes, Brad Klapper from Associated Press. In an interview he gave today, UN mediator Kofi Annan conceded that his Syria peace plan was failing. Yet just a couple days ago, you were still trying to pressure Assad into implementing the ceasefire and the plan for political transition. Do you have any hope left, any at all, that Assad might do these things? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Bradley, I think what Kofi Annan said should be a wakeup call to everyone, because he acknowledged that there has not been movement by the Syrian regime in accordance with his six-point plan or the more specific communiqué out of Geneva’s Action Group meeting.

And therefore the parties, principally the government, have to ask themselves: What is the alternative? The violence is increasing. June was the deadliest month for the Syrian people in terms of the thousands of Syrians killed and injured. There are 1.5 million displaced people within Syria. There are tens of thousands of refugees crossing the border. There’s already been an incident affecting Turkey because of military action by the Syrian Government. There was just yesterday an unfortunate incident across the Lebanese border. There is no doubt that the opposition is getting more effective in their defense of themselves and in going on the offense against the Syrian military and the Syrian Government’s militias.

So the future, to me, should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime: The days are numbered; and the sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there’s a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region.

So I think Special Envoy Annan was admitting the obvious, that as of today he’s not been able to convince the Syrian Government and those supporting it to wake up and recognize the path they are on, but that there is still time. And as we saw with the recent high-level defection, with the increasing numbers of defections, the sand is running out of the hourglass. And we want to make clear to the Syrian regime that they need to be willing to end the violence and start the serious business of a political transition.

MODERATOR: Japanese media, please.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Kikwaji from Nippon Television Network. Now, Osprey is something that I want to ask you. Minister Gemba and Secretary Clinton, my question is to both of you. Accidents happened, one after another, so mainly in Okinawa but elsewhere too there is a call for the revision of the plan. So other than information provision, Minister Gemba, did you ask for any concrete measures? As of now, do you think that deployment of Osprey is possible?

MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton, this question. This may affect the Japanese relationship with the U.S.. How do you see the implication and the impact, and is there any plan for information provision? Minister Gemba first.

FOREIGN MINISTER GEMBA: Thank you very much for your question, Mr. Kikwaji. A question regarding Osprey. As I said earlier on, in Iwakuni and in Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan, a lot of people are showing very harsh reaction regarding the deployment of Osprey. I was very frank about it and I conveyed this point to Secretary Clinton.

Having done so, we have coordinated and collaborated until the very last of possibilities. It is a fact that we have done the closest coordination that we can do, and still the reaction is very harsh. That is what I told Secretary Clinton about. And later on, Secretary made – referred to it. She said that situation that should give reassurance to the Japanese people, the information would be provided which will reassure Japanese people. Especially the local people have serious concern. In order to remove any possible concerns, what is needed? We have to consider what is possible that we can do in order to remove any worries. That is something that we wish to seriously study. It is – situation is serious, so I was very frank about this with Secretary Clinton.

Thank you.

MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me reiterate that the United States cares deeply about the safety of the Japanese people and we will take every measure to ensure that any equipment brought to Japan for Japan’s defense by the U.S. military meets the highest safety standards. Overall, the MV-22 Osprey has an excellent safety record, and we believe that basing it in Okinawa will significantly strengthen our ability in providing for Japan’s defense, performing humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, and other duties as a key ally.

But in recognition of the concerns that the Minister has just described, the defense ministries of both of our countries have agreed that they will wait until the results of the safety investigation are presented to the Japanese Government and confirmed, because it is very important to the United States that Japan shares our confidence in the safety of the Osprey. So we will work to ensure that the Japanese Government is satisfied that the Osprey is safe to fly in Japan.

MODERATOR: In the interest of time, last question from the U.S. media.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. Jo Biddle from AFP. Following your meeting with Foreign Minister Khar, how confident are you that the United States and Pakistan have put aside the difficulties that we’ve seen in the relationships – in the relationship over the past year? And more specifically, could you tell us how you believe that the reopening of the Pakistan border posts will help in counterterrorism efforts? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you. As I said, we had a very broad-ranging, constructive discussion as a follow-up to our recent work in resolving some of the disputes around the opening of the lines of communication in Pakistan. We are both encouraged that we’ve been able to put the recent difficulties behind us so we can focus on the many challenges still ahead of us. And we want to use the positive momentum generated by our recent agreement to take tangible, visible steps on our many shared core interests.

First and foremost, we focused on the necessity of defeating the terror networks that threaten the stability of both Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as interests of the United States, along with our allies and partners. And we discussed Afghan reconciliation efforts and the importance that both the United States and Pakistan support this Afghan-led process. So I am pleased we will have a chance to discuss that trilaterally later this afternoon and look toward how we can better coordinate our efforts. We also discussed economic support for Pakistan and the goal of moving toward more trade than aid as part of our economic relationship.

So we discussed a number of important issues, and obviously there’s a lot of follow-up work that has to be done. I’ve said many times that this is a challenging but essential relationship. It remains so. And I have no reason to believe it will not continue to raise hard questions for us both, but it is something that I think is in the interest of the United States as well as the interest of Pakistan.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen of the press. This completes the joint press conference of Minister Gemba and Secretary Clinton. Thank you very much.

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Remarks With And Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 10, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon, everyone. It’s a pleasure to welcome the foreign minister back to Washington. Cherry blossoms have come and gone, but we are still celebrating the 100th anniversary of Japan’s beautiful gift to our country. The minister reminded me Tokyo is in full blossom now. (Laughter.)

Today, we discussed a number of important topics, starting with the United States’ unwavering commitment to Japan’s defense and security. Our negotiators have been working to finalize a new agreement that strengthens our alliance and is more politically sustainable. We have reiterated our commitment to maintaining a military presence in Japan that will enable the United States to defend Japan while ensuring regional peace and security.

We covered a number of regional and global issues, but spent most of our time on North Korea’s planned missile launch. Our two governments will continue to closely coordinate, consult, and cooperate as this situation develops. We share a strong interest in stability on the Korean peninsula, and we believe that strength and security will not come from more provocations but from North Korea living up to its commitments and obligations.

So I thank the foreign minister for his visit, and I look forward to working with him over the next two days during the G-8 foreign ministers meetings.

FOREIGN MINISTER GEMBA: (Via interpreter.) Then allow me to say a few words at the outset. I believe there have been main themes, and that is, number one, preparation for the upcoming visit by the prime minister. And the other matter was concerning North Korea.

First, with respect to North Korea, launch of a missile that is – that they allege to be a satellite will harm a path toward resumed dialogues the United States made. There should be close cooperation between Japan and the United States; Japan, the U.S., and ROK, and further with the other concerned countries, including China and Russia. Efforts need to be made until the last moment so that North Korea are restrained from the launch. This is something that the two people agreed on.

We believe that in the upcoming G-8 meeting that is to be held from tomorrow, it is necessary for us to issue a very strong message. Should DPRK goes ahead and launch it, that would obviously be a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. Vis-à-vis repeated violations of the Security Council resolutions, Japan and the United States should cooperate with each other closely. The international security, including the Security Council, should take appropriate actions, and that is something that we also agreed upon.

Now, next with respect to the bilateral relationship between Japan and the United States, the upcoming visit to the United States by our prime minister is defined to be something that would set the direction of the Japan-U.S. alliance for many, many months and years to come. So we regard this as something that is very important.

Of course, it is needless to say that we need to further advance the Japan-U.S. security and defense cooperation. In respect of our discussion regarding adjustment to the realignment plan of the U.S. Forces in Japan, we agreed that we would make efforts so that we can come to an agreement that would contribute to the earliest possible mitigation of the burden on Okinawa by maintaining the deterrence. And we had a very extensive discussion about the security aspects. Now, we believe that the result of the realignment consultations will result in enhancing an ability of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

With respect to the issue of TPP, I am going to meet with the head of USTR, the ambassador, and so I refer the matter there. But we also had a conversation about the possibility of export of American shale gas to Japan, and Japan-U.S. cooperation in the field of outer space and the area of culture and personal exchanges, including the centennial of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to the United States.

Of course, we discussed various other matters as well, but of course the topic of Afghanistan will be certainly discussed in the G-8 foreign ministers meeting to be held from tomorrow. And on this occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to express my respect to Secretary Clinton for exercising leadership on various fronts as chair of the G-8 foreign ministerial. And we would like to continue to closely cooperate with each other for a successful G-8 meeting that will begin tomorrow.

MS. NULAND: Good. We’ll take two today. We’ll start with CNN, Elise Labott.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. To follow up on your comments on North Korea, what do you do next if it looks as if the launch is ready to be undertaken? Repeated Security Council violations, and it looks as if China is unable or unwilling to do anything to persuade the North. I mean – and does that put you in a bit of a box in terms of what you can do? Because the longer you go without talking with North Korea, the longer they have to constitute their – further constitute their program.

And on Syria, it’s clear that today is April 10th and President Assad has violated his own self-imposed deadline. What are your next steps? Considering now that Syrian troops have fired across the border into Turkey, no one can claim that this is just an internal Syrian matter. This seems to becoming a much wider issue of international – threat to international security.

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. Let me make absolutely clear that any launch by North Korea would be a serious, clear violation of their obligations under already existing UN Security Council resolutions 1718 and 1874.

We are consulting closely in capitals and at the United Nations in New York, and we will be pursuing appropriate action. But I would just underscore that if North Korea wants a peaceful, better future for their people, it should not conduct another launch that would be a direct threat to regional security.

With respect to Syria, Kofi Annan made clear to the Security Council this morning that Assad is not complying with the commitments that he made under the six-point plan and that, in fact, the violence has only gotten worse over this last week. Just yesterday, Syrian forces fired on refugees fleeing across the border into Turkey. They then lit fires to their own forests to try to flush out opposition fighters, and they fired across the border into Lebanon.

We are holding intensive discussions in New York, again in capitals. I’ve spoken with the Turkish foreign minister. We will be discussing this at the G-8 ministerial meeting. I will be particularly raising this with Foreign Minister Lavrov. And the Council will hear directly from Kofi Annan on Thursday.

MS. NULAND: Now a question. Tokyo Kyodo News, Mr. Mizuno.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) I would like to ask this question to both Secretary Clinton and Minister Gemba. And my question has to do with a post-launch response of North Korea. Now, Minister Gemba earlier said that Japan and the United States would closely cooperate with each other. It was agreed that they would take an appropriate measure in the event of a launch of a missile. Now, specifically, what is going to be done?

This month, the United States is the chair country of the Security Council. So now if there’s a launch of the missile by North Koreans, do you have an intention to convene an emergency Security Council meeting? And I would like to ask Foreign Minister Gemba if you have an intention to ask for a convocation of such an emergency Security Council meeting. Now, at the Security Council meeting, Minister Gemba – well, you said on your own that you have been approaching China about the post-launch response that China might make. Now, do you have an intention to seek a new resolution about this in the Security Council meeting? And on the part of the United States, if there is such a request for a new resolution, how would the Security Council respond to such a request? Do you have a meeting of minds, agreements on this matter between yourselves?

FOREIGN MINISTER GEMBA: (Via interpreter.) To answer the question posed by Mr. Mizuno, that is indeed a matter that we discussed in full detail in the meeting. However, this is a diplomatic effort, so I do not think it is appropriate for me to mention in detail what was really discussed.

As I said a moment ago, if there’s a launch of the missile by North Koreans, we agreed that we would take an appropriate measure that includes – the United States and Japan would cooperate with each other and the international community, including the Security Council, would take an appropriate measure.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I completely agree with the foreign minister. Thank you so much, Minister.

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Remarks With Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 19, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON:Good afternoon, everyone. And it’s an honor for me to welcome Foreign Minister Gemba to the State Department on his first official visit to Washington. He and I have closely consulted both by phone and in person several places, but it’s a real pleasure to have you here. Japan and the United States share a strong and vibrant partnership. Our alliance helps safeguard regional security and is the cornerstone of U.S. strategic engagement throughout the Asia Pacific.Today the foreign minister and I discussed the evolving situation on the Korean peninsula in light of the reports from North Korea state-owned media on the death of Kim Jong-il. We both share a common interest in a peaceful and stable transition in North Korea, as well as in ensuring regional peace and stability. We have been in close touch with our partners in the Six-Party Talks today. President Obama and President Lee spoke last night. I spoke with Foreign Minister Kim early this morning, and we are also reaching out to Beijing and Moscow, and, of course, closely coordinating with our Japanese friends. We reiterate our hope for improved relations with the people of North Korea and remain deeply concerned about their well-being.

The minister and I also discussed a number of bilateral and regional issues and reviewed the close and ongoing collaboration between Japan and the United States in the aftermath of last March’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis. We discussed Japan’s recent move to pursue consultations on joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations to resolve longstanding trade concerns in order to deepen the economic ties to the benefit of both our countries. I also urged that Japan take decisive steps so that it accedes to The Hague Convention on International Parental Child Abduction and address outstanding cases.

We are also focused on investing in the increased ties between our people and, in particular, young people through the Tomodachi Initiative. I welcome the news that the foreign minister will soon visit Burma. We now have a real opportunity through sustained diplomacy to test the new government and to overcome the obstacles in the way to Burma achieving its rightful place in the community of nations. Later today, Japanese and U.S. officials will meet with counterparts from India for our first-ever trilateral meeting, and the United States supports a meeting between Japan, China, and ourselves, as Foreign Minister Gemba recently proposed. And finally, we covered global issues like Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the situation in Afghanistan, where our two nations are the two largest donors.

So we had a very comprehensive, constructive discussion, and I am grateful for this chance at the end of this year to meet with the foreign minister, to take stock of where we are, and I look forward to meeting again next year as we continue our work together.

FOREIGN MINISTER GEMBA: (Via interpreter.) Let me start by saying that at the invitation of Secretary Clinton, I visited the United States for the first time in a bilateral context. This visit has served as an opportunity for me to deepen my personal relationship with Secretary Clinton and to further strengthen Japan-U.S. relations.

This time, in light of the developments in North Korea, namely the death of Mr. Kim Jong-il, Secretary Clinton and I had an in-depth discussion on the situation in North Korea at today’s meeting. We share the recognition that it is important to make sure that the latest events would not negatively affect the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. For this purpose, as we – for this purpose, we affirm to closely monitor the situations concerned, and to coordinate closely with each other by sharing information between Japan and the United States, and among Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea.

I understand that there was a telephone conversation between Prime Minister Noda and also President Lee Myung-bak yesterday. And based on the discussion that I had with Secretary Clinton today, I intend to reach out to my counterparts in the Republic of Korea and China to discuss this issue. We share the view that we should coordinate closely with Six-Party partners. We’re also in agreement that all sides want stability and calmness during this period. In addition, we also confirmed that we should maintain our close coordination among Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea on the efforts toward denuclearization of North Korea – in particular, to ensure concrete actions taken by North Korea.

Due to the most recent developments, we are seeing an increasing level of interest in and attention to how the process of dealing with the abduction issue develops in Japan. I expressed my gratitude to the consistent support extended by the United States for raising the abduction issue every time during the U.S.-North Korea dialogue. Moreover, taking into account this new situation, I ask for continuous understanding and support from the United States for resolving the issue. Also, when we look at the Asia Pacific region, trust and cooperation among Japan, the United States, and China is critical for ensuring stability in the region. With this in mind, I proposed to Secretary Clinton to launch a trilateral dialogue among these three countries, and in response, Secretary Clinton shares my view.

I am encouraged by the progress in democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar. Secretary Clinton visited Myanmar earlier this month, and I will visit there next week. Against this backdrop, we agree to deepen coordination between Japan and the United States so that this positive trend will be further solidified in Myanmar.

On India, as the Secretary suggested, we affirmed that Japan and the United States are deepening strategic relationship with India. As a specific example of collaboration, the Japan-U.S.-India trilateral dialogue will be held at the working level here in Washington, DC today. We also exchanged views on global issues, including pressing challenges of Iran and Afghanistan, and confirmed that we will closely consult and cooperate with each other. During our frank discussion on Iran, specifically in relation to the National Defense Authorization Act, which targets the Central Bank of Iran, I conveyed my view that there is a danger of causing damage to the entire global economy if the imports of Iranian crude oil stop.

And let me emphasize that it is the solid foundation of the Japan-U.S. relations that enable us to coordinate, cooperate, and consult with each other closely. On security, Secretary Clinton and I reaffirmed that the two countries will continue to implement the realignment of the U.S. forces stationed in Japan, including the relocation of Futenma Air Station and the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam in accordance with the Japan-U.S. agreements. We also confirmed that with regard to the U.S. budget for the relocation of the Marine Corps to Guam, the commitment of the U.S. Government to the implementation of the 2006 Japan-U.S. Roadmap is unchanged. I emphasized the importance of moving forward to lessen burden on Okinawa and asked for cooperation from the United States.

On the economy, from the perspective of incorporating the economic growth of the Asia Pacific region, which is a growth engine of the global economy, Japan decided to enter into consultations with the countries concerned for the participating in the TPP negotiations. I briefed Secretary Clinton on the most recent status of preparation in Japan regarding this consultation.

As part of the centennial anniversary of the presentation of the cherry blossom trees from Japan to the United States, and also in the context of the reconstruction efforts after the disaster, we did discuss Kizuna Project, a youth exchange program that focuses on the North America as well as collaboration with the Tomodachi Initiative, the joint initiative between Japan and the United States, in implementing the project.

In conclusion, taking into consideration the current situation in North Korea, Secretary Clinton and I reaffirmed to continue to make frequent contact with each other.

Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you, Minister

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I was expecting some remarks to go along with these photos, but none have arrived.  That does not seem to be a good reason to deprive one and all of the photos.  Mme.  Secretary met with FMs Yang (China), Gemba (Japan).  Truong (Vietnam) and Rudd (Australia).  I know Discourse loves that print jacket.  I have loved this oatmeal-colored suit on her since she wore it in Denver the afternoon before her speech there.  I think it is linen or a linen/silk blend.  The color is fabulous on her,  the cut is perfect, and the fabric falls beautifully.

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Remarks Before Her Meeting With Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf Astoria
New York, New York
September 19, 2011

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, can I ask you how things are going on the Middle East?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are engaged in extremely intensive ongoing diplomacy, reaching out to not only the parties, but to all of the people who are here for the UN General Assembly. And we continue to believe and are pressing the point that the only way to a two-state solution, which is what we support and want to see happen, is through negotiations. And no matter what does or doesn’t happen this week, it will not produce the kind of outcome that everyone is hoping for. So we’re going to stay very much engaged and focused.

QUESTION: Do you sense some wiggle room, Madam Secretary?


QUESTION: Do you sense any wiggle room? Do you think that you can, in this week of meetings, in this week of diplomacy, get him to see it your way and perhaps maybe soften his stance even?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Elise, I think it’s early in the week. A lot of people are not even here yet; there’s been an enormous number of meetings by many different parties talking to each other. And I want to be fully informed about all of those conversations. But I think that everyone knows our position and, obviously, our goal is a two-state solution, and that’s what we’re going to keep working towards.

MS. NULAND: Thank you.

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