Japan’s Foreign Minister visits Mongolia

Mr. Katsuya Okada pays respects at Chinggis Khaan statue
On August 30, Katsuya Okada, Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister paid a one-day visit to Mongolia. The entire visit was aimed to satisfy preparations of the pending visit of Mongolia’s President to Japan. Japan’s Foreign Affairs Minister began his visit in Mongolia by laying a wreath at the memorial monument for Japanese soldiers in the Dambadarjaa area of Ulaanbaatar.
After the event, G. Zandanshatar, Mongolia’s Foreign Minister held an official talk with his Japanese counterpart. During the talk, the sides shared views on the possibilities for establishing an economic partnership agreement, to liberalize regional economic trading and investment, mutual travel of citizens, and bilateral economic relations within frames of the pending Presidential visit.

Japan’s new government holds a policy to reduce official development assistance to foreign countries by 10 percent; however it was reported that the amount of assistance to Mongolia will be remained unchanged. The ministers discussed how official assistance for development would be spent and how to increase its effectiveness. It is intended that President Ts. Elbegdorj will pay a State visit to Japan in mid November. It is expected that there will be official meetings focusing on the economics spheres.
During the meeting, Minister G. Zandanshatar expressed Mongolia’s interest to receive loans from Japan and assistance for constructing the 5th source of energy and attract Japan’s investment in the energy sector because it has a reliable energy technology with economic efficiency.
Foreign Ministers Katsuya Okada and G.Zandanshatar
The matter is expected to be discussed during the Presidential visit. After the meeting with Mongolia’s counterpart, Mr. Katsuya Okada paid respects to the Chinggis Khaan Statue and held a meeting with Mongolia’s Prime Minister, S. Batbold at the State House.
To begin the meeting, Prime Minister S. Batbold expressed his satisfaction with the present situation of Mongolia-Japan relations, cooperation and further approaches. He thanked Japan’s side for comprehensively supporting Mongolia from its transitional period into democracy and market society. Mr. Batbold mentioned the importance of intensifying the economic development ties between the two countries, and said Mongolia is willing to establish an agreement with Japan on an economic comprehensive partnership. He pointed out that Japanese investors have an opportunity to take part in Mongolia’s biggest projects and programs for implementing infrastructure, energy and housing.
In turn, Mr. Okada said he heard that Mongolia’s government focuses its activity on the biggest works to intensify the country’s economy and that bilateral relations and cooperation are at a comprehensive partnership level. He continued saying that the sides should widen the ties by enriching content and activities, and expressed his commitment to work actively for establishing an economic partnership agreement between the two countries. He also added that bilateral comprehensive partnership relations must serve as an example for other countries, and said that Japanese investors want to cooperate with Mongolia in mineral resources, infrastructure and mining spheres, namely in the exploitation of the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit and in the uranium sector.
Mr. Batbold said Mongolia adheres to develop the production of value-added end-products and stated, “Our government aspires to change its current practice of exporting raw materials to foreign countries without processing them. The way for change is to hold trade talks with countries,” he said. They briefly exchanged views on regional and international cooperation. He mentioned that Japan is an important partner of Mongolia in terms of high technology, management, and investments. The Prime Minister pointed out that Japanese technology will be needed to establish a new energy source for Ulaanbaatar city. Later, President Ts. Elbegdorj met with Mr. Katsuya Okada, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
On the onset of the meeting, the President said that Mongolia- Japan relations are one of the foreign policy priorities of Mongolia, and underlined that Mongolia attaches great importance to its relations and cooperation with Japan. “Assistance and loans rendered by the Japanese government and people have played an important role in the development of democracy in Mongolia,” the President stressed, and expressed willingness to elevate bilateral comprehensive relations to a newer level.
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada lays a wreath at the Japanese soldiers memorial
The President appreciated setting up a research group on the matter of establishing an economic partnership agreement. It comprises officials of the two countries’ governments and private sector and researchers. Then, he underlined that Japanese investors have a big opportunity to collaborate with Mongolia in introducing stateof-the-art, environment-friendly techniques and technologies. In turn, the Foreign Minister of Japan Mr. Okada said he agrees with the President that it is possible to bring bilateral relations into a newer level. Mr. Okada expressed his hope that an economic partnership agreement would be important to develop not only economic ties but cooperation in other sectors as well.
Mr. Elbegdorj highly appreciated Japan’s contribution to the United Nations (UN) activities and reaffirmed Mongolia’s support for Japan’s effort to seek permanent membership on the UN Security Council.
Before concluding his visit, Japan’s Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada visited Chinggis Khuree Camp where the Japanese delegate enjoyed a mini-Naadam festival. During the mini-Naadam, Foreign Minister G. Zandanshatar presented a fast-breed horse to his Japanese counterpart. Expressing thanks, Mr. Katsuya named the horse ‘Mongol’.

source: The Mongol Messenger
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