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President Janez Drnovšek receives the Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

Ljubljana, 08/30/2006  |  press release

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, today received the Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Mr Kazuo Kitagawa. They discussed bilateral relations and established that 2006 represents a turning point in the development of ties between Slovenia and Japan in that the opening of the Japanese Embassy in Slovenia offers new possibilities for expanding and strengthening cooperation. Minister Kitagawa then conveyed the greetings of the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Junichiro Koizumi, to Dr Drnovšek.

Minister Kitagawa congratulated Slovenia on its economic achievements as well as its membership of the European Union and the imminent adoption of the euro. He went on to say that Japan appreciated Slovenia’s activities aimed at stability and development in the wider region. Dr Drnovšek responded that Slovenia appreciated the achievements of Japan and its economic development, and highlighted the good relations between the European Union and Japan. According to Dr Drnovšek, the European Union and Japan can make a significant contribution to the protection of the environment and promotion of sustainable development. Minister Kitagawa agreed that one of the biggest global problems is the pollution of the environment. The development of cooperation in the field of technology is, in his opinion, particularly important in this respect. He was pleased to hear about a joint project for the more efficient use of hydropower. The Japanese Minister also emphasised the interest in increasing cooperation in tourism and the related introduction of an air transport connection between Slovenia and Japan.

President Drnovšek and Minister Kitagawa also talked about multilateral issues and devoted most of their attention to the United Nations. They agreed that reform of the United Nations or its Security Council is urgently needed. Dr Drnovšek stressed that the existing composition of the Security Council did not reflect the reality of today’s world and that it was in the interest of mankind to transform the Organisation in order to make it more effective. Minister Kitagawa thanked the President for Slovenia’s support of Japan’s endeavours to strengthen its role in the United Nations.

Dr Drnovšek expressed his pleasure in welcoming Minister Kitagawa to Slovenia and his belief that this first ministerial visit from Japan will lead to further strengthening of relations between the two countries at the highest level. Dr Drnovšek also asked his guest to convey his regards to Prime Minister Koizumi.
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