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Japan: ICRC president meets Japanese emperor and prime minister

19-05-2013 News Release 13/95

Geneva/Tokyo (ICRC) – Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), today concludes a two-day official visit to Japan, during which he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera and Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Masaji Matsuyama. Mr Maurer also met their majesties the emperor and empress at the Imperial Palace.

During his meeting with the prime minister, Mr Maurer lauded "the very generous contribution of Japan, which has reached an all-time high in the past year."
The ICRC president also had the opportunity to share the ICRC's current concerns regarding the changing nature of conflict and the increased difficulties that humanitarian organizations face in their efforts to help and protect those in need.
"Japan is an important partner for the ICRC," said Mr Maurer. "Japan insists on respect for international humanitarian law within multilateral bodies, and I believe that Japan and other countries can influence parties involved in conflicts."
Mr Maurer had a lengthy meeting with Tadateru Konoe, president of the Japanese Red Cross Society, who is also currently the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. During their meeting, the two men shared their concerns over global humanitarian issues. The ICRC president expressed his gratitude for the support of the Japanese Red Cross and highlighted the valuable contribution that its staff are making in a number of ICRC operations. In addition, he emphasized his desire to maintain a solid partnership between the Japanese Red Cross and the ICRC.

For further information, please contact:
Hitomi Makabe, ICRC Tokyo, tel: +81 3 6459 0752
Marie-Servanne Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 34 43