Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura (河村建夫) gave a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club on December 17th, 2008. Kawamura is born in Hagi (Kawaguchi-ken – a beautiful Castle Town in the west of Japan’s main island, which is also host to many famous potters). Kawaguchi was Education Minister in Prime Minister Aso’s cabinet.
In his speech Kawamura of course mainly talked about the current global financial crisis and stimulation programs to support the economic recovery, to support new industries and new technologies. Another emphasis is consumer protection support of the consumer agency in view of recent food scandals, and other consumer good problems.
Points which I found interesting in Kawamura’s presentation where:
– A comprehensive law for decentralization is on the way for next year
– The basic law on space development
There was quite a long Q&A with discussion. What I found interesting was Kawamura’s answer to the question about the disputed Takeshima islands, that a solution in an international arbitration court is desirable.- This is the first time I heard about this possibility from Japanese leaders.
Asked also about the disputed Sentaku Islands, Kawamura mentioned the possibility of joint ownership areas for maritime resources, and the development of gas resources beyond the 200 mile territorial limits.
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