IZUMISANO/JAPAN: Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa on Sunday arrived in Japan for a five-day visit. Mr Kuteesa was received by his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, with whom he held a meeting and discussed a wide range of issues.
The two ministers reaffirmed their desire to strengthen cooperation, both bilaterally and internationally, based on universal values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and good governance.
Minister Kono congratulated Mr Kutesa for the conferment of the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in spring 2017. Mr Kutesa expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the decoration. The two Ministers confirmed their intentions to work hand in hand to further develop the long-standing friendly and cooperative relationship.
Mr Kutesa expressed his appreciation towards Japan’s important role and contribution to African development through TICAD (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) process, which is an open, inclusive and transparent forum. Minister Kono expressed his appreciation for the active engagement of Uganda in the TICAD process, including President Museveni’s attendance at the past five TICAD Summit Meetings. The two Ministers affirmed to collaborate for the success of TICAD ministerial meeting in 2018 and TICAD7 in 2019.
Recalling the outcomes of the Japan-Uganda Public –Private High-Quality Infrastructure Conference held twice in 2017 as well as the Japan-Africa Public-Private Economic Forum held in May 2018, the two Ministers shared the view on the importance of promoting private sector investment in Uganda through improvement of the business environment. In this regard, they underlined the significance of a bilateral investment treaty in the future to facilitate more investment from Japan to Uganda.
Minister Kono expressed his willingness to support Uganda’s Vision 2040 through quality infrastructure development and capacity building. Minister Kutesa highly appreciated Japan’s support for improvement of electric transmission system in Kampala and construction of a new bridge across River Nile in Jinja. The two Ministers underscored the importance of promoting quality infrastructure in accordance with international standards such as openness, transparency, economic efficiency and financial viability of recipient countries.
Recognizing the importance of achieving universal health coverage (UHC), Minister Kutesa highly appreciated Japan’s support for the Project for the Improvement of Regional Referral Hospitals in Northern Uganda to improve the health care service. Minister Kono expressed Japan’s intention to continue supporting improvement of living conditions in Uganda.
The two Ministers shared their view on the role of education and vocational training as the foundation for nation-building and economic development. Minister Kutesa expressed his satisfaction with the progress of vocational training projects in various fields including automotive and electric industry. He also appreciated that 23 young Ugandans benefited from the African Business Education Initiative (ABE initiative) for the youth.
Recognizing the high potential of agriculture in Uganda, the two Ministers stressed the importance of improving agricultural production and productivity. Minister Kutesa expressed his satisfaction with Japan’s contribution in the field of rice cultivation. Minister Kono reiterated Japan’s intention to continue supporting Uganda in this area, making full use of its experience and know-how. Moreover Minister Kutesa expressed his gratitude for the food assistance provided by Japan, stressing that the assistance helped to mitigate the impact of the influx of refugees.
The two Ministers reaffirmed the importance of promoting people to people exchanges. The two Ministers welcomed the decision by the City of Izumisano and the Town of Tateshina to become host-towns for Uganda on the occasion of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The two Ministers also noted with satisfaction the partnership launched last year between the cities of Izumisano and Gulu.
The two Ministers emphasized that a free and open international order based on the rule of law is the foundation for peace, stability and prosperity of the international community. Minister Kutesa reiterated Uganda’s appreciation for Japan’s post-war contributions made as a peace-loving nation s well as its support for Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation.
Minister Kono paid tribute to the efforts for peace and stability in Africa in particular the stabilization of Somalia with the contribution of the largest number of troops to the African Union Stabilization of Somalia with the contribution of the largest number of troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), its active engagement in the political process in South Sudan, as well as hosting of over 1.4 million refugees.
Minister Kutesa expressed his appreciation for Japan’s support for refugees in Uganda, including capacity development of local host communities. Minister Kono reaffirmed Japan’s intention to continue its support as expressed at the solidarity Summit for Refugees held in June 2017 in Kampala. Minister Kutesa expressed his appreciation for Japan’s continued support to the United Nations Regional Service Centre Entebbe (RSCE).
The two Ministers reaffirmed the importance of a comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) including the expansion of both permanent and non-permanent categories of its membership, in order to make it more legitimate, effective and representative, reflecting the realities of the international community in the 21st century. In this regards, Minister Kono expressed his appreciation for the strong leadership that minister Kutesa exercised for the reform as the President of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly from 2014 to 2015. The two Ministers also expressed their determination to continue engaging constructively in the work of the intergovernmental negotiations towards an early realization of the reform. The two Ministers underscored the necessity of moving the process forwards during the 72nd session of the General Assembly and affirmed the importance of continuing dialogue among the concerned groups.
The two Ministers appreciated all the efforts to date by the international community towards the current developments surrounding North Korea. The two Ministers welcomed “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula” issued at the Inter-Korea Summit in late April 2018, which confirmed their common goal of the complete de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and expressed strong hope that the planned US-North Korea Summit in June would deliver North Korea’s concrete actions for such a goal. The two Ministers called on all countries to fully implement relevant UNSC resolutions, including resolution 2397, and reaffirmed their commitment to urge North Korea to take concrete actions in accordance with these resolutions. The two Ministers also called on North Korea to resolve the abductions issue.
The two Ministers shared the intention to strengthen cooperation in addressing a wide range of global issues such as non-proliferation, counter-terrorism and violent extremism, climate change, disaster risk reduction and gender equality, with a view to realizing African Union’s Agenda 20163 as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) based on the concept of human security.
The two Ministers reaffirmed their intention to maintain close cooperation between Japan and Uganda in various multilateral frameworks.
Finally, Minister Kutesa expressed his appreciation to Minister Kono and the Government of Japan for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to his delegation during his visit.