安倍外交 モンゴルと戦略関係の強化を

[The Yomiuri Shimbun] April 1, 2013
Japan should fortify strategic partnership with Mongolia
安倍外交 モンゴルと戦略関係の強化を(3月31日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Mongolia became an opportunity for Tokyo to strengthen its strategic partnership with an Asian country friendly to Japan.

On Saturday, Abe held separate meetings with Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag and President Tsakhia Elbegdorj.

During the meeting with Altankhuyag, both leaders agreed Japan and Mongolia will start vice foreign minister-level talks to discuss diplomatic and security issues. Moreover, they agreed to hold a policy dialogue with the United States.

Abe’s trumpeted principles for his administration’s Asian diplomacy include calls for a free and open market economy and respect for democracy and other universal values.

Japan’s diplomatic strategy also will benefit if Mongolia, which sits between Russia and China, becomes even more democratic and develops a market economy. It could act as a check against China, which has been threatening the sovereignty of neighboring nations through diplomatic intimidation.

Abe asked for Mongolia’s cooperation on North Korea issues, particularly Pyongyang’s abduction of Japanese. His Mongolian counterpart expressed support for and understanding of Tokyo’s position.

Resources wait to be tapped

Mongolia was a North Korean ally during the Cold War and still maintains high-level exchanges with that country.

Thanks to Mongolia’s cooperation, Japan and North Korea were able to hold talks in Ulan Bator in November 2012.

The government should take maximum advantage of its ties with Mongolia to resolve the abduction issue, which has been deadlocked for years.

Partnership with Mongolia will be valuable also in the field of energy security, as Japan lacks natural resources.

Mongolia possesses abundant high-quality natural resources, such as coal and minor metals. It recorded sizzling economic growth of an annualized 17 percent in 2011, mainly thanks to the development of its mines.

At Abe’s meeting with Altankhuyag, the leaders discussed joint development of Tavan Tolgoi, the world’s largest coalfield, in the Gobi Desert in southern Mongolia. “We’d like to provide Japan with a stable supply of coal over the long term,” Altankhuyag reportedly said.

In Mongolia, there is a plan to ship coal to ports in Russia and China, which would then be exported to Japan and South Korea. To achieve this, it is essential to build railways to transport Mongolia’s resources to the coasts.

Sumo stars just the start

However, Mongolia needs to improve its investment climate so Japanese companies can start doing business there to develop natural resources and social infrastructure. The Japanese and Mongolian governments should discuss this issue.

During his meeting with the president, Abe mentioned the superb performances of yokozuna Hakuho and other sumo wrestlers from Mongolia. Japanese have become more interested in Mongolia thanks to these wrestlers, while many Mongolians reportedly regard Japan as their “third neighboring country” after China and Russia.

We hope both countries will boost exchanges not only in politics and economics, but also in culture and sports.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 31, 2013)
(2013年3月31日01時43分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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