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Japan-ROK Bilateral Summit


Prime Minister Noda (left) and ROK’s President Lee attend a press photography session before their summit meeting on October 19.
On October 18, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda visited the Republic of Korea (ROK). On the following day, he had a summit meeting with President Lee Myung Bak at the Blue House (the Presidential Palace). This visit to the ROK was Noda’s first overseas trip for a bilateral meeting as prime minister.

Prime Minister Noda and President Lee agreed based on a future-oriented thinking to cooperate from a broader perspective, so that overall Japan-ROK relation is not affected by difficulties which occasionally arise between the two countries.

Prime Minister Noda and President Lee also agreed to have frequent visits, including those between the two leaders and foreign ministers, and to continue to exchange views closely. The two leaders shared views on vitalizing “shuttle diplomacy,” including frequent mutual visits at the summit level, and also agreed to realize President Lee’s visit to Japan at the earliest possible time.

With regard to the Korean Peninsula-originated archives, President Lee stated that the transfer of five archives by Prime Minister Noda has a symbolic meaning for the future of ROK-Japan relations.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Noda said that he would like to undertake the working-level coordination for the earliest possible resumption of the EPA negotiations between Japan and the ROK in order to support recent collaborations in the private sector between both countries and take the initiative in creating fundamental rules for the region. President Lee agreed on this point.

Also, with respect to the currency swap deal between Japan and the ROK, the two leaders agreed to expand the deal to a total of 70 billion U.S. dollars, as securing stability in the currency markets is very important for the stable growth of the economies in both countries.

Prime Minister Noda stated that reconstruction in the Tohoku region continues to be the most important issue for Japan, and he asked for further cooperation on issues of reconstruction and stated that he would like to advance initiatives in cooperation with ROK as to recovery, tourism and countermeasures to harmful rumors. Prime Minister Noda said that he expects the cooperation would lead to the revitalization of people-to-people exchange. Based on his experience of visiting the disaster area in May, President Lee stated that he was impressed by the efforts of the people in the affected area, saying there is much to learn from the people.

On the North Korean issues, the two leaders agreed on the importance of close coordination between Japan and the ROK as well as among Japan, ROK and the United States to deal with the missile and nuclear development issues including the uranium enrichment activities by North Korea, and on continuation of inter-Korean dialogue, as well as United States and North Korean dialogue, which should lead to concrete actions by North Korea.

Also, on the abduction issue, Prime Minister Noda stated that he had been doing everything possible to repatriate all the victims to Japan at the earliest possible time and he would like to cooperate with the ROK. President Lee once again expressed his support and cooperation.

CoFesta: TIFF

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (left) and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano arrive at the Tokyo International Film Festival in Roppongi, October 22.
Credit: ©2011 TIFF
The 24th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), an official event of CoFesta, the world’s largest comprehensive content festival, was held between October 22 and October 30, 2011. The festival showcased about 130 movies from around the world. TIFF is also engaged in activities to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and bring about an awareness of the need for environmental preservation. As a symbol of the environment and ecology, a green carpet was laid down outside the venue in Roppongi, Tokyo, where the opening ceremony was held on October 22, 2011. Guests who greeted the crowd as they passed along the green carpet included film stars such as Jackie Chan and Milica Jovovic, as well as Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano.

TIFF this year initiated a TIFF ARIGATO Project to support the restoration efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake, and it organized donations, charity auctions, and a special film presentation in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, a city that was greatly affected by the earthquake.

On October 30, 2011, the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix was awarded to Untouchable, directed by Eric Toledano / Olivier Nakache, out of fifteen films that had been entered into the competition section.