Activities of the Secretariat
Results of the Visit to Japan by Mr. Chung Eui-yong,
Co-Chairman of the Standing Committee and Secretary General of the ICAPP
(Tokyo, February 24-25, 2013)
Mr. Chung Eui-yong, Co-Chairman of the Standing Committee and Secretary General of the ICAPP, visited Japan during February 24-26, 2013, and had meetings with the following leaders of the two major political parties in Japan:
- Hon. Taro Kono, Former Director General of the International Bureau, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
- Hon. Koichi Takemasa, Chairman of the Administration Committee, and Hon. Yuji Fujimoto, Director General of the International Department, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
The following is the brief report on the results of the meetings.
Both LDP and DPJ appreciated the contributions that the ICAPP has been making to promoting peace and stability in Asia through expanded exchanges between political parties. They also endorsed and supported, in general, the work programs of the ICAPP for 2013 which have been prepared by the Secretariat.
In particular, LDP said that it would need to have authorization from the party leadership for necessary budget expenditure to host ICAPP events in Japan in future for it to be able to more actively participate in the ICAPP programs. They are now having internal discussions on the issue, and will inform the Secretariat the results of the discussion in due course.
Both LDP and DPJ confirmed their agreement to the formula of their participation in the ICAPP Standing Committee meetings as full and alternate members respectively in accordance with the previous understanding. According to the understanding, the political party with the largest number of seats in the Parliament will represent its country as a full member in the ICAPP Standing Committee, while the political party with the second largest number of seats will attend as an alternate member.
Both LDP and DPJ responded positively, in principle, to the proposal by the Secretariat to conclude a “multilateral MOU on cooperation to support the activities of the ICAPP” among the governments of the countries which are represented in the ICAPP. They said, however, they would need to consult with each other and the Japanese government on the proposal and would inform the ICAPP Secretariat the results as soon as possible. The Secretariat explained that the MOU would be a very brief document, consisting of one or two preambular paragraphs recognizing the positive roles of, and the need for the support of, the ICAPP, and one or two substantive paragraphs agreeing to provide possible support or assistance to the activities of the ICAPP and its Secretariat. It will also include several administrative paragraphs on such issues as amendment and duration of the MOU. It will not be, however, a legally bounding agreement among governments. It was agreed that such an MOU would contribute to improving legal status of the ICAPP in the international community and might also help obtain observer status of the ICAPP in the U.N. General Assembly. It will also help make the ICAPP more institutional.
Both LDP and DPJ responded positively, in principle, to the proposal made by the Secretariat to host a meeting among five major political parties of China, Japan, and Korea, i.e. the Communist Party of China(CPC), LDP and DPJ of Japan, and the Saenuri Party and the Democratic United Party of Korea. In particular, LDP said it would consult with party leadership on the proposal, and DPJ welcomed the initiative and said that it would consult with the LDP on the proposal. The Secretariat proposed to host the meeting in Seoul or Jeju Island in mid-May this year. The Secretariat suggested that the main topic for the meeting would be how to cooperate among the major parties in the three countries to further promote ICAPP objectives and activities, but in the course of discussions, issues relating to current state of relationships among the three countries are expected to be naturally raised. The meeting will be informal and not open to the public. The Secretariat also suggested that it would provide simultaneous interpretation for Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages for more smooth and convenient exchange of views among the political leaders. The two major parties of Korea have agreed to this proposal by the Secretariat, and, the CPC agreed to consider participating in the meeting if LDP and DPJ agree to participate.
Both LDP and DPJ supported the ICAPP’s efforts to convene the tri-continental conference of political parties in Asia, Africa and the Americas, but agreed that it needs to be pursued as a longer-term goal, as it might take longer time to organize an ICAPP-like organization in Africa.