East Asia-Latin America cooperation forum opens in Tokyo of Japan

14:43, January 16, 2010      

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Foreign ministers and senior diplomats from 34 East Asian and Latin American countries gathered Saturday in the Japanese capital to discuss issues facing the international community and both regions at the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).


Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama addresses the opening ceremony of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Jan. 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

In his opening speech, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama extended sympathy to people in quake-hit Haiti.

"Japan should offer maximum possible cooperation at moments like this," he said.

"East Asian and Latin American countries shall continue to be the source of the future economic growth," Hatoyama said.

"I believe that deepening cooperation with our Latin American friends is extremely meaningful," he said, adding that in this regard, the FEALAC foreign ministers' meeting taking place here is of great significance.

During the two-day FEALAC foreign ministers' meeting, discussions will be held on such issues as environment and sustainable development, economic and financial crisis, and social linclusion such as reducing disparities.

The ministers will also exchange views on methods of promoting exchange between Asia and Latin America.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Friday that China expects good results from the FEALAC foreign ministers' meeting and has played an active part in the forum, having hosted economic and trade, culture and education events.

China will "work with other parties in the forum to benefit the peoples of both regions," Jiang said.


Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (C, front) attends the opening ceremony of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Jan. 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, present at the meeting, is scheduled to meet several of his counterparts from the two regions on the sidelines of the forum.

Initiated in 1999, the forum is an international framework consisting of 33 countries including 15 countries in Asia and 18 in Latin America, with the purpose of strengthening cooperative relations in a wide variety of areas between Asia and Latin America.

Mongolia is taking part in the meeting for the first time along with 15 other Asian nations including China, Japan and South Korea.


Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (L, front) shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during the opening ceremony of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), in Tokyo, capital of Japan, Jan. 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

Foreign ministers' meetings are generally held once every two years. The previous Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in 2007 in Brazil, where it was decided that the 2010 meeting would be held in Japan.

The foreign ministers' meeting is the highest decision-making framework. There are also senior officials meetings and three working groups of politics, culture and education; economy and society; and science and technology.

Source: Xinhua
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