Vol. 6, No. 5 (May 25, 2010)
The opinions and materials contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Government of Japan.
In this issue
UN Security Council Holds Open Debate on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
-Japan Brief / FPCJ, No.
On April 16 the United Nations Security Council held an open debate on the theme of "post-conflict peacebuilding." The meeting, which was chaired by Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Katsuya Okada, ended on the evening of that day (the morning of April 17 Japan time) with the adoption of a presidential statement that emphasized the need for sustained international support after a conflict, among other points. It was the first time that a Japanese foreign minister served as the chair of a UN Security Council meeting. The Asahi Shimbun editorial of April 18 stated, "We applaud Foreign Minister Okada for setting a new precedent."
Foreign Minister Okada Is First Japanese Foreign Minister to Chair a UN Security Council Meeting
In addition to members of the UN Security Council and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon...
The Second TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting
-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Over 430 leaders, including representatives from 65 countries as well as leaders of over 50 NGOs, regional and international institutions, and private sector organizations, convened in Arusha, Tanzania May 2-3 for the Second TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting. The Meeting was co-chaired by Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and the Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon. Mustafa Mkulo. The Ministers met for discussions on four topics: the Yokohama Action Plan, Africa's efforts to recover from the impact of the global economic crisis, achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and addressing Climate Change. Foreign Minister Okada spoke on the Yokohama Action Plan and on addressing Climate Change.
To learn more:
Read the Communique of the Second TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting (Arusha, Tanzania, May 2-3)
Statement by State Secretary For Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Fukuyama
As the head of a Japanese delegation to New York during the first week in May, Tetsuro Fukuyama attended the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Conference on May 3rd and 4th and delivered the following statement.
On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to you on your assumption of the Presidency of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Let me assure you of my delegation's utmost support to your efforts.
Japan welcomes the initiatives of the United States, including President Barack Obama's speech in Prague last year, and the signing of the new START treaty by the United States and the Russian Federation as well as the success of Nuclear Security Summit. It is our hope that these positive movements towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation will lead to a successful outcome at this Conference. The five benchmarks proposed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday encourage us.
I will first read out a message from the Prime Minister of Japan, Dr. Yukio Hatoyama.
The Prime Minister Receives a Courtesy Call
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama received a courtesy call from Ms. Margot Pfefferle, the 2010 United States Cherry Blossom Queen (far left), and Ms. Kanako Ono, the 23rd Japan Cherry Blossom Queen (far right), at the Prime Minister's Office.
Passport DC: Around the World in Thirty Days
May is the time for Passport DC and once again, the folks at Cultural Tourism DC showed Washingtonians how easy it can be to travel the world without leaving the city. The third annual Passport DC kicked off on the first weekend of May with the Around the World Embassy Tour. The Embassy of Japan has been pleased to participate since Passport DC's first year. In a change from last year's open house at the Japan Information and Culture Center on 21st and M St., this year the Embassy of Japan opened Ippakutei teahouse on Massachusetts Avenue to the public.
Built in 1960 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, Ippakutei is one of the finest examples of an authentic Japanese teahouse anywhere outside of Japan. Its traditional Japanese architecture, which utilizes thin walls and paper screens, makes it sensitive to the comings and goings of large crowds. Part of the reason it is so rarely open to the public, this fragility is also why only 400 of the nearly 3000 guests were able to view the teahouse during Passport DC, having waited in line for tickets on a first come, first served basis. Other guests were still able to try green tea and manju, a small cake-like treat with sweet bean filling imported from Japan.
The manju continued to be a hit as Passport DC continued last weekend with the International Children's Festival at the Meridian International Center. Over 1000 people came with their families to introduce their sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews to world cultures. Children in Japan's corner were able to try their hand at folding origami and try on Japanese happi coats and randoseru, the unmistakable style of backpack worn by all grade school students in Japan. Many children were surprised to learn how many of their favorite cartoon characters – from Pokemon to Naruto - come from Japan.
With a month full of international events, Passport DC is fun for the whole family. We hope to see you next year!