H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, held a telephone conference with H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for about 20 minutes at noontime on January 9. The conference is summarized by the following points:
1. At the outset, Secretary-General Ban congratulated Prime Minister Abe for his recent appointment and expressed his commitment to working together with Japan, which he described as an important Member State of the United Nations, on various issues of the Organization. Prime Minister Abe, having expressed his gratitude for the Secretary-General’s congratulatory message, stated that Japan, as the second largest financial contributor to the UN, was eager to strengthen its efforts to work with the United Nations in a wide range of issues including the peace and stability of the international community.
2. Secretary-General Ban expressed his hopes that Japan and its neighboring countries keep close cooperation regarding regional issues including North Korea’s nuclear development, the abduction issue, and the recent missile launch, as well as with issues on the global scale. Prime Minister Abe, on his part, expressed his determination to firmly address the issue of North Korea’s missile launch, which constituted a clear violation of the Security Council resolution, as well as on the abduction issue which he described as a serious violation of sovereignty and human rights. Mr. Abe further expressed his expectation to work in close cooperation with the United Nations in this regard.
3. Prime Minister Abe, affirming that Japan continues to attach great importance to Security Council reform, maintained that UN Member States should discuss viable reform proposals and pursue tangible progress, and he further requested the Secretary-General’s leadership and cooperation on this issue.
4. Lastly, Prime Minister Abe invited Secretary-General Ban to attend the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADV) which will be held in June of this year. The Secretary-General responded that the invitation would be positively considered.