Japanese PM Noda attends the annual G-8 Summit; Japanese PM vows to relocate Futenma base; The 4th Uygur congress opened in Tokyo despite China’s protest; Japan, China and South Korea hold summit talk in Beijing
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  • Reports noted that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda left for the US on May 18 to attend the two-day long G-8 summit meeting that was to be held at the Camp David. In the Summit, the European debt crisis and the crisis in Syria were expected to be the two major issues of discussion. Japan has already decided to offer an additional $60 billion to help boosting the IMF’s resources to handle financial crises. Noda also expressed his willingness to acquire cooperation with other G-8 participant states in deterring North Korea from attempting another provocation after the North’s long-range ballistic missile launch in April this year. 1

    Recently while addressing a ceremony at Okinawa to mark the 40th anniversary of the US reversion of Okinawa to Japan, Japanese PM Noda pledged to relocate the Futenma base. The Okinawa prefecture currently hosts about 75% of the US military bases in Japan. While insisting that the current security system was important as it was based on the Japan-US security alliance, Noda went on to state that the government would make “visible, concrete progress toward an early reduction in Okinawa’s base-hosting burden while maintaining deterrence.” He also urged the rest of Japanese citizens outside Okinawa prefecture to think seriously about the base issue and cooperate with Okinawans to share the base burden. 2

    Among other interesting developments, the fourth general assembly of the World Uygur Congress was opened on May 14 in Tokyo, despite fierce protest by the Chinese government. During the four day long meeting, 125 leaders of the Uygur groups were expected to decide their strategies for the next three years. Earlier, while criticizing the Uygur group as separatist, Beijing had urged Tokyo to respect China’s core interests and not to let the meeting to take place in Tokyo. In the meantime, Uygur leader Rebiya Kadeer has appealed Beijing to listen to ethic minorities’ call for democratization in China. 3

    The leaders of Japan, China and South Korea held their summit in Beijing recently. The joint declaration released on May 14 titled “The joint Declaration on Enhancement of Trilateral Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership’ insists on enhancing among them mutual political trust and strengthening of economic and trade cooperation. While emphasizing on the three countries commitment to realize a peaceful, stable and prosperous East Asia, the Joint Declaration also addressed enhanced trilateral cooperation for maritime search and rescue operation to ensure maritime safety. As for trilateral FTA, the three countries agreed to the necessity of immediately starting to prepare, including (completing) domestic procedures and (having) working level consultations” to launch the FTA negotiations this year itself. Interestingly the Declaration did not condemn North Korea’s latest launch of the long-range ballistic missile in April this year, as three countries could not come to any agreement on that issue. 4