"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Remarks by H.E. Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Meeting on Afghanistan on the occasion of the NATO Summit

[Place] Chicago
[Date] May 21, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

(Secretary General Rasmussen, President Obama, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen,)

At the outset, I would like to express my deep respect to the NATO and ISAF member states for their contribution and sacrifices that have been made in pursuit of security and stability in Afghanistan.

The biggest challenge we face today is to ensure that Afghanistan can sustain stability and continue to develop itself beyond 2014 after the departure of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In order to attain this, we must tackle both security and development issues in a comprehensive manner.

First and the most significant challenge is to ensure security. In this regard, building the capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces is an absolute necessity. For this purpose, Japan has been supporting the improvement in both ""quality"" and ""quantity"" of the security forces. We are financing police salaries and providing funding for literacy education for the police. I would like to take this opportunity to clearly state that Japan intends to continue with its appropriate assistance to the Afghan National Security Forces going beyond 2014.

In this connection, Japan welcomes the recent signing of the US-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement which puts in place concrete steps that will be taken in the area of security from 2015 onward. Japan also supports the NATO's mission beyond 2014 which include training of the Afghan Forces.

However, we cannot attain peace and stability in Afghanistan only with security capabilities. Japan will support Afghan-led efforts for reconciliation and will also lead efforts for reintegration in cooperation with Afghanistan.

No less significant challenge than security, in ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan, is development.

I will be hosting the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan on July 8th together with Foreign Minister Rassoul and Finance Minister Zakhilwal, inviting approximately 70 countries and international organizations. The conference aims to pave the way for achieving sustainable development of Afghanistan from now into the Transformation Decade beyond 2014.

The Government of Afghanistan is currently working on a long-term development strategy with sequenced development programs as well as concrete measures to improve their governance. At the Tokyo Conference, Afghanistan and the international community will make mutual commitments; namely, Afghanistan will firmly commit to steady implementation of these measures, while the international community announces specific financial assistance for the development strategy of the Afghan government.

It is crucial that these mutual commitments do not become empty promises. The Tokyo Conference will set up a follow-up mechanism in which mutual commitments will be reviewed by both Afghanistan and the international community in a series of biennial ministerial conferences, where subsequent commitments will be made based on the review.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me conclude by stating my earnest expectation and wish that the participants coming to the Tokyo Conference will all express their strong commitment to supporting Afghanistan by fully understanding and appreciating the efforts that have been made by the people and government of Afghanistan and the need to assist her during the upcoming ""Transformation Decade"".

Thank you very much.