[8th June 2012]


Hon. Koichiro Gemba, Foreign Minister of Japan and Hon. Amb. Prof. Sam K. Ongeri, Foreign Minister of Kenya

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Prof. Sam Ongeri, EGH, MP has concluded his three-day official visit to Japan on Wednesday, 6th June 2012. Japan. The purpose of the Minister's visit was to deliver to the Hon. Prime Minister, a Special Message from H.E. the President.

During his stay in Japan, the Hon. Minister held fruitful deliberations with senior government officials, senior members of National Assembly, the business community as well as representatives of the Kenya Professionals working in Japan.

In his meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Koichiro Gemba, the Hon. Minister conveyed his sympathy and condolences to all the families that suffered from the triple disaster which struck Eastern Japan in March 2011. He also reiterated Kenya's solidarity with Japan expressing confidence that the people of Japan will be able to recover soon from this accident.

Both Ministers acknowledged the warm, cordial and historical relations that happily exist between the two Countries. The Foreign Minister praised Japan for its continued development support to Kenya since independence which has been very helpful in Kenya's development endeavors. He cited various development projects that have been accomplished in Kenya through technical and development support by people of Japan in various areas such as development of the industrial sector, Tourism, Agriculture, Health, Education and Livestock development.

In the area of Education, he cited Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUT) as a very good example of the tremendous impact of Japan's ODA on Africa's development.

He also cited the Sondu Miriu Hydroelectric Power project as another success project that Kenya has accomplished with Japan's support.

He however requested that this support be extended to include the private sectors in bilateral development programs. For instance he singled out the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor as one area that provides tremendous opportunity for bilateral collaboration between Japan and Kenya on the basis of Government to Government as well as private sector development. He noted that the Lamu Corridor's feasibility studies were carried out using Japan's highly advanced technologies and underlined that Kenya would be grateful if the two would collaborate to realize the LAPSSET dream which forms part of the wider Vision 2030.

The two Ministers also discussed a wide range of issues affecting relations between Kenya and Japan. With regard to the forthcoming Rio +20 Summit, the minister informed his host that the Government of Kenya attaches great importance to the success of the Summit as it is inter-alia aimed at charting out the road to the "Future We Want" by renewing political commitment and reaffirming the Rio Principles reached in previous summits and conferences. According to Kenya Rio+20 should deliver on inspiring agreements for future generations on a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development as well as create and strengthen the institutional framework for sustainable development which is needed by humanity for the Post-Rio+20 period.

The Minister further sought Japan's support to have the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development strengthened under a greatly enhanced UNEO as one of the concrete outcomes of Rio+20. He said the Government of Kenya strongly supports the need to strengthen, consolidate and transform the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) into a United Nations Environment Organization (UNEO) based in Nairobi, Kenya, in accordance with the African Position as contained in the Africa Consensus Statement to Rio+20.

Hon. Ongeri urged Japan to support Kenya and Africa on this matter noting that the proposed institution would not add any heavier burden on members but would instead strengthen coordination amongst the different Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).

The Minister also held discussions with the Senior Vice-Ministers, Hon. Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa and Hon. Ryuji Yamane respectively. During his discussions with Hon. Yanagisawa the , Senior Vice-Ministers for Economy, Trade and Industry, Hon. Ongeri thanked Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for its bilateral collaboration with Kenya. The Hon. Minister welcomed the recent signing of an agreement between Japan's Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK). He noted the signing of this agreement is a testimony of fruitful collaboration between the Ministry and its Kenyan counterpart. He hoped that bilateral efforts in Oil exploration between the two Public Corporations will yield the desired fruits for the benefit of our two countries. He also told the Vice-Minister that Kenya is now re-focusing renewed attention to the Mineral exploration sector saying that the Government believes the country has significant potential for growth in the Mining sector.

The Hon. Minister also held discussions with the leadership of the Association of the African Economy and Development (AFRECO). In the meeting with Hon. Tetsuro Yano, the President of AFRECO, the two explored the tremendous opportunities for trade and investments between Japanese companies and their Kenyan counterparts. The Minister assured his hosts that Kenya will do everything possible to encourage the deepening of Economic Cooperation between the Japanese people and their Kenya counterparts at all levels.

The Minister also held a meeting with the Chairman of the Kenya-Japan Parliamentary Association, Hon. Kastuyuki Kawai. During their discussions with Hon. Kawai, the two sides agreed on the need to deepen parliamentary collaborations between Kenya and Japan. In particular both sides underlined the need for the revamping of the Kenya-Japan parliamentary Friendship Association in both countries.

Finally the Hon. Minister met the African Heads of Mission in Tokyo under their umbrella organization -African Diplomatic Corps (ADC). During the meeting, the Hon. Minister was briefed about the ADC's activities in Tokyo as well as the cordial relations between Japan and Africa. He also briefed the ADC Members about his visit to Japan. He explained that Kenya believed that the RIO+20 Summit presents an important opportunity to advance the call of renewed global collaboration to protect the environment. As we "head into the RIO+20 Summit it's important for the International Communities to take a decision to strengthen International Environmental Governance" said the Minister.

He also revealed that the African Union has already issued a declaration in which they have called for the strengthening of institutional infrastructures in the areas of environment particularly the transformation of UNEP based in Nairobi into a World Environmental Organization. The Minister further explained that Kenya believes that we cannot achieve sustainable development anywhere on the planet unless we streamline the area of environmental governance. In other words, environmental protection and management cannot be divorced from efforts to attain sustainable development around the world. Consequently, Kenya support the position taken by the African Union family and hence our decision to champion the crusade to strengthen environmental governance through the transformation and strengthening of UNEP.

Wednesday, 6th June 2012


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